Saturday, 6 September 2008

Informing the boat within the time limit?

Received an Email from the Judge who keeps track of all the Jury reports and publishes them in the IJ-Report web site. He presented the following case:

Part of the IJ Report from the "International 420 & International 470 Open Junior European Championships" might be something you would consider for your blog....

"Two judges observed an incident involving a protest between two boats and gave evidence at the hearing. The two judges did not raise a jury protest about the incident as a protest had already been submitted by a competitor.

During the hearing the evidence of jury members and others made it apparent that a third boat, not referred to in the protest form and not present at the hearing, was involved in the incident. Accordingly the jury initiated a protest under rule 60.3(a)(2).

At the second hearing a party argued that the jury should not be permitted to initiate the jury protest. Jury members had observed the incident and thus the jury was obliged under rule 61.1(b) to inform the boat after the race within the time limit of rule 61.3 and had not done so.

In the view of the international jury
a) the jury could extend the protest time if there was good reason to do so.
b) In any event, rule 60.3(a)(2) was appropriate

However it could be argued that there is conflict between the provisions of 60.3(a)(2) and rule 61.1(b). It is intended that this issue be drawn to the attention of racing rules committee."


In first response I have the following points.

  1. First there has to be the intention to protest. Look at the first sentence of rule 61.1(b). In this case, because of the protest submitted by one of the boats, it is reasonable that there never was an intention by the jury to protest. The protest could be against all boats involved. Something which a hearing would establish.
  2. If from the observations of the judges on the water it wasn't apparent that the third boat broke a rule, that this only became clear during the hearing, the jury was under no obligation to inform the boat under rule 61.1(b)
  3. There's a separate rule (RRS 61.1(c)), in which a time to inform the boat is specified for protesting under rule 60.3(a)(2), so rule 61.1(b) does not apply.

If you have another opinion or want to comment, please don't hesitate to use the comments button.


  1. I have been having the same question about rule 61.1(b) and 61.1(c) for long time. You said “when rule 61.1(c) applies under rule 60.3(a)(2), rule 61.1(b) does not apply”. Your view is indeed a good solution for my question. The doubt has been cleared away. Danke.

    By the way, I am reminded of another something related to rule 60.3(a)(2) for some time.
    Rule 60.3(a) says that the protest committee “may protest” a boat in the circumstances describes in (1) and (2). I think the expression of “may” is very equivocal, and parties to a hearing may have doubts in this rule.
    For instance, at an event, if by any chance there are two cases that one judge or one panel of the jury always initiate a protest under rule 60.3(a) ,and on the other hand, another judge or another panel does not care to initiate the protest, isn’t the difference between two deal fair for sailors?

    I have had a long-pending problem as the illustrated example as follows. Then I have asked a question to some judges I respect. But two opinions were sent to me and the matter is still unsolved for me.
    Will be a party presents to a protest hearing confuse at such different opinions?
    Please give me your advice.

    Boat I protested against boat M.

    1. I(inside), M(middle) and O(outside), on starboard tack and overlapped, were approaching the Leeward mark to be left to port.
    2. Three boats were overlapped before they reached the two-length zone.
    3. I touched the mark, and then rounded the mark, never to take a penalty by making one turn.
    4. M and O rounded the mark.
    5. There was no contact between three boats.
    6. I protested against M.
    (Notes: M didn’t protest against O.)

    1. I has right of way over M. [RRS 11 & RRS 18.2(a)]
    2. M is DSQ under RRS 11 for not having kept clear of I, and RRS 18.2(a) for not having given room to I to round the mark.
    3. I touched the leeward mark, and she should be DSQ [RRS31.1 & 31.2], but having been forced to do so by M, I is exonerated under RRS 64.1(b).

    M is DSQ.

    1. Is the conclusion for M proper?
    2. During the hearing, the Protest Committee learned that boat O, although not a party to the hearing was involved in the incident and may have broken a rule. [RRS 60.3(a)(2)]
    Must or should the Protest Committee to protest against O under RRS 60.3(a)(2)?
    3. Is it not necessary the Protest Committee to bother to protest against O under RRS 60.3(a)(2)? Because M didn’t protest against O.

    Comments by Mr. A (CAN IJ):
    The conclusion point 3 should probably read:
    “I touched the leeward mark, and broke RRS31.1 & 31.2, but having been forced to do so by M, I is exonerated under RRS 64.1(b).”
    A boat may not be penalized without a hearing. A protest committee’s credibility may well be damaged if they found O was at fault but did not penalize her.
    The guiding action in a hearing would be: If the protest committee believes that O was part of the incident and may be penalized, then they should protest her and bring her into the hearing. If it is questionable whether O played a part in the incident, then the normal procedure would be to continue with the hearing without her.

    Comments by Ms. B (CAN IJ):
    There needs to be a fact to support the conclusion that I was compelled to touch the mark because of M’s breach of rule. Rule 60.3(a)(2) uses the word say・so the protest committee is not obligated to protest O. Their credibility would be at risk if they decided to not protest. Also, the only time that I can think of that a protest committee could not protest O is when O’s identity is unknown. In such a case, the protest committee could conclude that the unknown boat O, broke a rule, compelling M to break rule 18.2(a) and exonerate M.

    Comments by Mr. C (GBR IJ):
    Again, the conclusions do not state that I hit the mark because she was not given sufficient room - but I have assumed that was so.
    Question 1: Yes, conclusion 2 is proper.
    Question 2: RRS 60.3(a) says that the protest committee "may protest" a boat in the circumstances described in (1) and (2). In this case it is (2) that would apply. However, the rule is permissive, not mandatory (i.e. it does not say 'shall protest'), so the protest committee must decide whether it wishes to protest O. The protest committee cannot penalise O or exonerate M if O is not protested because O is not a party to the I -v- M protest.
    Question 3: The protest committee can consider that the failure of M to protest O was because O had, in fact, given M enough room. If the protest had been found to be valid that would mean that M 'promptly' knew that she was being protested for the incident and she could have considered whether O was responsible for the problem.
    I hope that these explanations are helpful.


  2. @Sen: Thank you for your comment.
    Please remember that the view I give, are only my own.

    I'll study your case and will probably make a readers Q&A out of it to give you my opinion.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...