Saturday, 29 November 2008


Very cryptic title, don't you think? I will explain in a moment.

Just a short update from my hotel room in Brindisi. We had a fine day on the water with nine teams, seven from Italy, one from Austria and one from Croatia. Nice weather, nice wind, good boats, what can one wish for more?
Well, I'll tell you: One can wish for some wet-gear. Airone - the air plane conglomerate I used - has managed to loose my bag! All I have is what I had on and what was in my hand luggage.
AMSTERDAM > to Rome went fine, but then I got stuck in Rome. Waiting for a plane to Milan. The weather in Milan was terrible, so after boarding we waited and waited again, until finally I had no other option but to get of that plane and try to find another direct connection to Brindisi. My bag was - of course - already loaded, but they promised to get it of. But at the carousel nothing came... After an hour I had to try to get on with my connection...

I managed to get another plane to Brindise, leaving 21:50 and guess..... delayed first until 00:15 but finally until 01:00 hours..... And if that was not enough, we were diverted to Bari because Brindisi was closed due to a spill on the runway... Take the bus for an hour and a half in the middle of the night.., thank you very much!
I arrived in my hotel at 04:00 in the morning.

So, before you think about starting a career in International Umpiring.... This is also part of it. I'm not sure I will get my bag back at all, let alone in time for my flight back tomorrow evening.....


Changing the game; Leeward Mark rounding in RRS 2009-2012

Changing the game in Team-racing? A question derived from a link send in by James Ricketts.
He send me an Email with a link to the Sailgroove site: TTE7: A new Mark trap.
In the video Matt Knowles explains the change in rules in 18.2(c) compared to the current rules.

Under the old rules a boat entering the zone clear ahead became a right of way boat. As long as he didn't pass head to wind he could not loose that right. It has always been a bit of an anomaly that a new r.o.w. rule was introduced in the middle of mark rounding rules. That has now been 'rectified'.
You still are entitled to mark room when entering clear ahead, but rule 18.2(b) is switched off when either boat passes head to wind. The change in Appendix D of rule 18.2(b) has - at least in my opinion - no effect. Rule 18.2(b) is switched off (changed or otherwise) and rule 18.2(a) requires the clear ahead boat to give mark room if the clear astern boat gets an inside overlap.

I'm afraid the team racers have to find another way of laying a trap....,
or do you have another opinion?

Friday, 28 November 2008

New Call-Books for Match & Team Racing

New on the ISAF Site:

CALL Book for Match Racing 2009-2012

CALL Book for Team Racing 2009-2012


Both have been 'upgraded' to the new rules. I haven't had time to read them, let alone compare them to the previous versions. So, if you do and find interesting or enlightening insights, don't hesitate to send in a post!

I'm away from home this weekend, attending a Match Race event in Italy: Christmas Races at Circolo della Vela in Brindisi. I'm hoping for some warmer hours outdoors - it's just above freezing in Friesland.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Judging the Olympics | 3

This week in our series on Olympic Judges, the answers I received from
Bill O'Hara. If you have attended any grade 1 in the last couple of years you must have met him. He's the judge who gave lectures and talks to sailors, coaches and judges on the rule 42 interpretations and helped others to get to a consistent (legal) level.

You can read the first part (and the intro) in: Judging the Olympics | 1 and the previous part (last week) in: Judging the Olympics | 2


Here's what Bill answered to the questions:

How long where you an International Judge before you were invited to go to an Olympic Event? Perhaps you can tell something about your experiences and what you think is needed to be an International Technical Official?

I got invited to my first Olympic event three years after becoming a judge.  I think I got my chance early because I had already attended 4 Olympics in various capacities ,so although in Athens I was short on judging experience compared to many members of the jury I had plenty of Olympic experience.   In Athens  I was on the  laser course and I remember feeling that although nervous I felt well prepared for it . I think the most important thing for an international Technical Official is to keep active and do as many grade 1 events and continental championships they can before the games. It improves your skills and knowledge and it gives the sailors confidence because you are a familiar face and they know what to expect from you.

Can you tell us about the differences between any Grade 1 event and the Olympic competition, from a Judges point of view

You are more resourced at the Olympics; its more important not to make a mistake; and you don't get to speak to the sailors and coaches.

In "normal" International events CAS does not get involved, but it has in the last two Olympics. Does it change the way you do a protest hearing?

CAS do get involved in normal events. The exception at the Olympics is that their is a standing CAS panel so its easier for teams to access. In the professional era appeals to higher authorities are more likely so its important not to take shortcuts and follow hearing procedures precisely.

The Olympic Sailing event is the most filmed and photographed event of all. What is the influence of that on your work?

The big difference for me was that I took my hat off when the Helicopters were overhead so that my kids would recognize me if they were watching the TV. Seriously it was a great help in hearings to have good quality video footage to consider.

What did you enjoyed the most about the Olympics and what disappointed you?

It was great working in a team who all took collective responsibility and didn't try to avoid difficult decisions. It is difficult to articulate how hard the Chinese worked to make the event a success and I can honestly say I wasn't disappointed in any way.

Do you want to do the next Olympic in 2012?

Yes. Its a responsibility and an honor  to  be at the  Olympics  and I am  going  to work hard for the next four years to give myself a chance to be selected.

Anything else about this Olympics you might want to share with readers of my blog?

I think all judges who want to go to the games should consider becoming umpires as more and more of the top events expect both skill sets.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

RRS 2009-2012; Rule 19 Room to Pass an Obstruction

In the new rule book (RRS 2009-2012) the old rule 18, about rounding and passing marks and obstructions, has been split into two rules: 18 dealing with MARK-ROOM and 19 ROOM TO PASS AN OBSTRUCTION.

I have had some inquiries and comments on what the effect will be of the new wording in rule 19, particularly for boats on the starting line. Let's first look at the rule(s):

Rule 19.2(b) States: 'When boats are overlapped, the outside boat shall give the inside boat room between her and the obstruction, unless she has been unable to do so from the time the overlap began'

Definitions: Obstruction; An object that a boat could not pass without changing course substantially, if she were sailing directly towards it and one of her hull lengths from it. An object that can be safely passed on only one side and an area so designated by the sailing instructions are also obstructions. However, a boat racing is not an obstruction to other boats unless they are required to keep clear of her, give her room or mark-room or, if rule 22 applies, avoid her. A vessel under way, including a boat racing, is never a continuing obstruction.

For a boat approaching from behind, the boats lined up on the starting line are obstructions. She has to keep clear under rule 12. If she finds a gap between two of those boats the situation changes. From the moment the clear behind boat establishes an overlap with the windward boat of those two boat in front, she is no longer keep clear boat to both of them, she only has to keep clear of the leeward boat. Initially she has to give the windward boat room to keep clear under rule 15 but then that passes and she becomes right of way boat.

Under RRS 2005-2008 the two front boats were also a continuing obstruction and the boat from clear behind could not force his way in between if there was no room to do so at initial overlap.

Under RRS 2009-2012, boats racing can no longer be a continuing obstruction, so that part is gone. We only have rule 19.2(b) to rely on. At the moment the overlap was established, the windward boat has to give room, if she is able to.

If there are boats to windward she cannot luff and give room, you say? I received an interesting article from Mike Butterfield addressing this very issue:

How will they start in 2009 – line length issues!
I was just looking at the new rules and changes for Team Racing, and came across a game change that could affect starting in yacht races. Present I am considering a start line, the boats are in ranks, with the first rank spread down the line. We are used to the cries of UP, UP, UP, and often inactivity on behalf of the windward boat. The rules were in some areas complex, in some simple.

Two Boats: With two boats one of whom comes from astern, there is a simple progression under the rules. Initially one boat is clear astern of the other and must keep clear. Then that boat establishes a leeward overlap, and the windward boat must now keep clear, but initially the leeward boat has to give “room” to the Windward boat (RRS15) to do so. The windward boat must do all possible which may be to luff but may be to accelerate to keep clear. This can cause boats to be OCS.

Three boats: If there are three boats in the area with the two boats in the first rank just over a boat width apart, then the leeward boat is a continuing obstruction to the windward boat and the boat approaching from astern. This means that the leeward boat now cannot intervene unless at the time the overlap is established there is room to pass between the boats. RRS 18.5.

This means the boat approaching cannot enter the front rank, and in these circumstances cannot oblige the windward boat to accelerate to keep clear. This assists in regulating the start.

Two Boats: There is no change here.

Three boats: This is where the change is, the leeward boat cannot be a continuing obstruction (definitions) so under new rule 19, the boat approaching from clear astern can always put the bow in. Here the leeward boat on the front rank is an obstruction and the boat putting it’s bow in is inside boat relative to the windward boat and entitled to room unless the windward boat has been unable to do so from the time the overlap began.
Here is the problem, the windward boat can always accelerate (as otherwise how could it start) over the line.

Here could be the start of what will look like line indiscipline as boats are forced over or subject to disqualification for not keeping clear. In regattas (especially in team racing) now two boats could work in concert with a friend establishing an overlap too leeward of a target boat, to force it over or protest it. The previous protection in a crowded front rank has now been lost.

Will be need longer start lines or will we be developing a Black Flag lottery?
Mike Butterfield IRO IU IJ

I would like to hear your opinion....


Saturday, 22 November 2008

LTW Readers Q&A | 15

I'm at a loss! This question from Andrus from Estonia has me stomped. I really don't know, so I need your help. Have a look in your own rulebook to see what your translation says.... Here's Andrus' query:

I have a question to you and really want to know your opinion.
I'm just finished my translation of new RRS and I got stuck on the term ... PLASTIC POOLS (see Appendix J2.2 (25), Appendix K - NOR 17)
I asked many an IJ including some English guys and I didn't get any clear and assured answer! Amazing! Some of answers were even very funny but ... OK.
Some countries were translated in "old" rules (including Estonian version) this as: plastic pool i.e. pool made in plastic!!! Funny, ha!
Why we need a pool around any boat and why is it a prohibited plastic pool?
Does it mean that a pool made in wood or metal or whatever, are allowed? :-)))

After many unclear answers, I understood that it is some kind of tube with glass bottom to look under the boat, i.e. this is equipment to look under water?

So do you know what PLASTIC POOL exactly is? Have you seen any plastic pools in use?

Anyway that is very interesting question you can ask from judges and I am pretty sure few of them can answer - try it, please :-))
Hopefully you could help to find out what this thing exactly is.

Well, Andrus, I've been asking around but got no further than you. So I'm going to ask the readers. Do any of you know what is meant by 'Plastic Pools'?


Friday, 21 November 2008

iShares Cup Capsize Montage

Extreme 40's at full Blast!

you can see a higher resolution version and an additional promo video at:
> Capsize Montage
> New promo video

New Rules presentation on RYA-site

By E-mail I was notified about a link on the RYA-site. (Thanks Brass!)
It is a extensive PowerPoint presentation about all the changes in the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012, made by Trevor Lewis.

From the RYA site:

Many Clubs will be looking for something to help fill up their Winter programme. Down loading this PowerPoint presentation could help, with a little homework any qualified race official or proficient sailor should be able to deliver this hour long presentation. On the other hand your local Regional Rules Advisor may be able to find a local expert to come and deliver it for you. To find your local Advisor, please email (see RYA site)

Download the PowerPoint presentation accessible from the link at the bottom of the page, and open it up in presentation mode. The first slides will help you set up your computer to be able to deliver it. Slide 4 is a menu where you should choose the last option, “Quick Guide.” This is the part to use.

For those wanting to prepare in depth or you are curious to discover more, the rest of the presentation will provide you with a detailed step by step route through all the new changes in the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009 – 2012.
I haven't had the time to go over all the slides, but from what I did read, was already impressed. Beautiful and very thorough indeed!


Thursday, 20 November 2008

Judging the Olympics | 2

This week part two in our series about Olympic Judges.
You can read the first part (and the intro) in last week's post : Judging the Olympics | 1
One of the world's youngest IJ's, Sofia Truchanowicz, was at the Olympics for the very first time in Qingdao. She is a very knowledgeable judge from Poland and a nice person to boot. This is what she wrote in answer to my questions:
Dear Jos,
Great idea! Please find my answers in red below.
Best regards, Sofia

Q1-- How long where you an International Judge before you were invited to go to an Olympic Event? Perhaps you can tell something about your experiences and what you think is needed to be an International Technical Official?
A1-- I have been appointed as an IJ in 2004 so I have never thought that 2008 will be the year of getting the Olympic experience. I think it is very important to have your goals and step by step improve yourself to finally achieve them. As long as you do it with passion you are on the best way to make your dreams, even those Olympic ones, come true.
Q2-- Can you tell us about the differences between any Grade 1 event and the Olympic competition, from a Judges point of view?
A2-- It is a tricky question. As to be perfectly honest I must admit that Grade 1 event or ISAF Worlds for AOC are much more difficult regattas in terms of your physical and timing engagement. Due to bigger size of the fleets, races are tougher and days on the water longer. On the contrary Olympic Games have totally different specifics. There is definitely more pressure in the air, as every move you make and every decision you take, have much more impact on the outcome of the game. It is a little bit like a whole world looking at your hands. Nevertheless, it is still the same job you have to do out there. Therefore as long as you behave as you would normally behave on any other event, you are not overwhelmed by psychological and outside factors.
Q3-- In "normal" International events CAS does not get involved, but it has in the last two Olympics. Does it change the way you do a protest hearing?
A3-- I was not involved in any of the later-on CAS hearings, but it is true that every hearing you have during the Games, is done as it could end up in the CAS. This in turn makes you more focused on the procedures and proper way to deal with them. I guess Olympic Games require your concentration one hundred fifty percent in this field. However, as long as you run a hearing according to the rules and required procedures, you can sleep calmly (at least in parts ).
Q4-- The Olympic Sailing event is the most filmed and photographed event of all. What is the influence of that on your work?
A4-- You cannot hear your own thoughts ( just joking.. ) Although the helicopter noise can be tiring. As long as you focus on your normal work you do not pay too much attention to their presence. Nevertheless, you still keep in mind that your move is filmed and it wouldn’t be nice to see yourself next to the pumping competitor with no reaction from judges point of view. It wouldn’t be too professional, I suppose....
Q5-- What did you enjoyed the most about the Olympics and what disappointed you?
A5-- Atmosphere! That was the best part. The people around you (see other Jury members ) were fantastic. We had time for work and time for laugh. You could always count on their support and criticism and that made you feel really comfortable. Our Chairman, David Tillett, has done a remarkable job to keep all the pressure away and to give us a feeling to be an important part of this regatta. I learnt a lot and I am very happy and grateful to have a chance to meet such a wonderful people. Disappointment? I guess only lack of wind, but it was known from a long time before so you cannot complain…
Q6-- Do you want to do the next Olympic in 2012?
A6-- I presume this is a rhetorical question? Of course I would like to, but only if I was good enough. I had my chance this year and no matter what will happen in 2012, I already have unforgettable memories.
Q7-- Anything else about this Olympics you might want to share with readers of my blog?
A7-- Guess just to say thank you… to all the Olympic Jury for showing us (Olympic beginners ) what real teamwork means.


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

ISAF International Race Official Renewals And New Appointments For 2008

Race Officials News (From the ISAF web site)

The list of Race Officials who have successfully been approved for ISAF International Race Official status in November 2008 has been published on the ISAF Race Officials microsite.

ISAF has a global network of over 650 ISAF International Race Officials who ensure fair and competitive racing at the world’s top sailing events. At the ISAF Annual Conference in November 2008, 53 applicants have been appointed ISAF International Race Official status for the first time, together with 166 successful applications for reappointment.

ISAF Race Officials fall into four disciplines: International Judges (IJ), International Umpires (IU), International Measurers (IM) and International Race Officers (IRO). ISAF International Race Official status is valid for four years (two years for Race Officials over 70), after which time Race Officials must apply to renew their International status.

On the recommendation from its four Sub-Committees, the ISAF Race Officials Committee makes the decision on renewals and new appointments each year during the ISAF Annual Conference. All the candidates for status must fulfil mandatory criteria and meet the high level of standard of competence for each discipline.

To view the list of renewals and new appointments for 2008 click on the links below:
- International Judges
- International Measurers
- International Race Officers
- International Umpires

ISAF Race Officials are the central part of one of the most important roles at ISAF. Without them, fair and competitive racing would not be possible. Right around the world ISAF has a network of over 650 International Race Officials who ensure fair racing at the world’s top sailing events.

In addition to the 53 first appointments and 166 reappointments made in November 2008, other appointments may be under consideration and may be still pending subject to providing additional information.

ISAF Race Officials microsite –



Congratulations to all, specially those who have been appointed for the first time! I know how 'nail biting' the last couple of days can be. Hope to see you at an event.

What do we need to prove?

Guest post by Brass
When we begin hearing a protest, after (of course) carefully doing the rule M2 and M3.1 stuff, we often rush in to get to the ‘meat’ of the protest. This usually works OK on a simple Part 2 protest because the basic facts usually ‘fall out’ from the protest form and the party’s stories, and the basic facts necessary to reach the conclusions are few and simple: who was on port and starboard, windward or leeward, inside and outside and so on. We can get by on sort of unstructured instinct to ask the right questions to get all the necessary facts.
When we get to some of the more complex rules, however, it gets more complicated, and to get sufficient proof of the necessary facts requires some thought and planning before we are confronted with the parties and the witnesses.
At a recent judges seminar there was discussion about how to approach protests about complex rules. The following process was recommended:
  1. Identify the rule or rules that might apply;
  2. Examine each of these rules and list the elements or ‘ingredients’ that are required to constitute breaking the rule,
  3. Consider the facts needed to establish each of the ‘ingredients’, and how those facts may be proved, for example evidence of witnesses, results sheets, measurement certificates and so on
  4. Plan questions to witnesses to get them to provide the necessary facts. Plan and ask only those questions that are necessary.
Extracting the elements or ingredients from a complex rule is sometimes difficult but can be made easier by using a systematic process. We can go through the rule and highlight or underlining key words and phrases. We can then list out short sentences saying what has to be proved
Let us consider some examples.
Rule 31
While racing, a boat shall not touch a starting mark before starting, a mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing, or a finishing mark after finishing.
Rule 31 says that, while racing, a boat shall not touch
  • A starting mark before starting; or
  • A mark that begins, bounds, or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing, which, of course, includes a starting mark which begins the first leg after a boat has started and cleared it, and a finish mark which ends the last leg until a boat has finished; or
  • A finish mark after finishing.
To systematically prove that a boat broke rule 31, we must:
  1. prove that the boat was racing, that is, looking at the definition of racing, that she was
    • entered in the race, or intending to race in the race, AND
    • after her preparatory signal, AND
    • before she had finished and cleared the finish line and marks, AND
    • not in general recall, postponement or abandonment; 
  2. Choose which of the above alternatives applies (starting mark, finish mark, mark bounding a leg)
  3. prove that the mark the boat is alleged to have hit was that type of mark;
  4. prove that the boat hit the mark.

Rule 49.2 is a somewhat more complex example.
Rule 49.2
When lifelines are required by the class rules or the sailing instructions they shall be taut, and competitors shall not position any part of their torsos outside them, except briefly to perform a necessary task. On boats equipped with upper and lower lifelines of wire, a competitor sitting on the deck facing outboard with his waist inside the lower lifeline may have the upper part of his body outside the upper lifeline.
Rule 49.2 says that:
  1. to be subject to this rule the class rules or the sailing instructions must require lifelines; and
  2. the lifelines shall be taut; and
  3. competitors shall not position any part of their torsos outside them, except that
  4. competitors may position part of their torsos outside lifelines briefly to perform a necessary task; and
  5. where boats are equipped with upper and lower lifelines of wire, competitors may sit on the deck facing outboard with their waists inside the lower lifeline and their upper parts of their bodies outside the upper lifeline
To systematically prove that a boat broke the first part of rule 49.2, we must:
1. prove that the boat was racing, because rule 49.2 is a rule of Part 4 and the Preamble to Part 4 says that Part 4 Rules apply only to boats racing: to prove that a boat was racing we must prove, looking at the definition of racing, that she was
  • entered in the race, or intending to race in the race, AND
  • after her preparatory signal, AND
  • before she had finished and cleared the finish line and marks, AND
  • not in general recall, postponement or abandonment;
2. prove that:
  • the class rules applied and required lifelines, OR
  • the sailing instructions required lifelines;
3. prove that:
  • lifelines were not fitted, OR
  • ifelines that were fitted were not taut, OR
  • a competitor positioned some part of his or her torso outside the lifelines, AND
  • this was other than briefly to perform a necessary task, OR
  • this was other than as permitted by the second part of rule 49.2, that is:
    • there were upper and lower lifelines AND
    • the lifelines were of wire AND
    • the competitor was not sitting on the deck facing outboard with his or her waist inside the lower lifeline and the upper part of his or her body outside the upper lifeline
As an exercise, analyze the elements or ingredients of rule 69.1(a) that must be proved before a Protest Committee may take the action described in rule 69.1(b)


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

One Year LTW; FTBD (12)

Couldn't let this post slip by. Since I'm ahead with work on 'The Rules in Practice' I've closed the word-window and am taking a few minutes to write about LTW and it's one year anniversary.

I started writing this blog on 18th of November 2007 - one year ago. I have had 34.475 visits from 16.876 visitors who spend on average 3,01 minutes on 2.24 pages and visited 77.075 pages. They came from 115 different countries and 4,734 different places.
Best days were after a post was published on Scuttlebutt, with a record of 1154 visits in one day after my 'fairy tale' not long ago.

But I am most pleased with subscribers through feedburner, be it through a reader or by E-mail. They get the most of what I offer by reading about the rules every day. Some of them must be as 'loco' as I am, so I don't feel so alone - anymore . Thanks for that!

I enjoy writing on the blog very much and regret I haven't started earlier. I read a lot more on other blogs as well and sometimes find rare jewels in strange places. Which in turn inspire me to do something extraordinary as well. Sometimes I have the nerve to go trough with it, but then again I back off and try to stay on point...

Since my fairy tale brought such 'success', I will perhaps stray a little more, occasionally....

This is of course also a regular 'Flog the Blog Day'. Therefore you are once again invited to take whip in hand and start flogging....

Black, bweeeeh, ugly background.
What's this, with that rainbow stripe? Couldn't you come up with something new?
And that sidebar!!! Maaan, talk about clutter and mayhem! Could you possibly put something else there? I cannot find a tag, if it was biting me.
Experimental? A grey box is all I get.
When will you get it through your thick scull, that less is better!
Promises, promises.... when do I get an answer on my comment.
and so on, etc, etc.

If you must, you can say something positive, but only after first blood.
Oh, I disparately need some guest-posts, since my time is so limited.....


Monday, 17 November 2008

LTW Readers Q&A | 14

A team race question from Wag:

This weekend, I was umpiring university team racing in Fireflies. About 10 teams taking part, the usual team racing S course. In two races, all of the competitors failed to go round mark 2.

There is not a lot of guidance on this. The competitors in the two races were asking for them to be run again or for the results to stand because everyone sailed the same course.

Before I tell you what was done, what would you have done?

Dear Wag,
If your Team Racing is done under appendix D you should have a look at rule D3.1. I think that covers your situation. If boats have rounded the wrong mark you should first determine if she or her team had any advantage in doing so. If not, just let the race stand. If yes, then add 10 points.

If you don’t sail under appendix D, you could argue that first someone has to protest. You cannot penalise a boat without a hearing. I don’t think the umpires should do that. There’s no obligation. Neither should the RC protest. The teams shouldn’t do it either, because they have both to lose.
Without a protest the result stands.

What did you end up doing?


Saturday, 15 November 2008

Translation Job

I have good news and bad news today, dear readers of LTW.

The good news is that I've accepted a job in translating "The Rules in Practice" by Bryan Willis.
I wrote about his new book in this post: Book Review: 2009-2012 - Rules in Practice by Bryan Willis.

The bad news is that this means I will have less time to write on the blog. Posting will probably not be on a daily basis anymore. And some of the projects I was planning will have to wait. Specially the E-book for protest committees.

Some time ago I was approached to help with getting this book ready for the Dutch Market. Not very big, I know, only about 8000 potential buyers, but still. I found a friend who is also a publisher in, among other things, nautical books and we reached an agreement. After he negotiated with the English publisher and with our National Authority, we can now go ahead.
I've started with the first couple of pages.

It will be a challenge, as I've never done something like this before, but I'm eager to try.
There's a strict deadline, so I need to do 2.1745 pages per day.....


Friday, 14 November 2008

Boat Scenario - New situation drawing program

Two weeks ago I was send a new program link by French Umpire Thibaut Gridel. He is currently developing a new situation drawing program for depicting situations on the water. I've been trying his software for a few days and it looks very promising!

Besides keel boats you can use lasers, optimists and even tornado's. Here is a screen shot:

With his animations you can make a very smooth path with the boats. And like with any film, you can stop and go at any moment in the sequence. Thibaut is still working on additional features for this program and would like comments and suggestions. You can download Boat Scenario at where you can also tell him what you think.

port starboard S2

port - starboard S2-3 closest point

port starboard S3

In the three pictures above, I went from position 2 in a Port-Starboard incident, to the closest point the boats passed each other, to position 3. With the slide function you can find that point very easy.

He still has some ways to go, but I'm very impressed with this smooth animation. I already asked if that can be exported to say a GIF-file, for use in Outlook Power Point presentations.

I will keep you updated on developments and will put a link to his program site in the sidebar. Don't hesitate to experiment and tell Thibaut what you would like added.


Thursday, 13 November 2008

Judging the Olympics |1

We've all followed the highs and lows of the sailors at the Olympic Games in Qingdao. From the spectacular 49er medal race to the clearing of the algae on the waters by local fishermen.

At the Olympics all eyes are focused on the sailors and rightly so. But to make sure that all rules are adhered to, there's a group of International Judges from all over the world who form the Olympic Jury. I send them a questionnaire to ask them about their experience doing that.

In the next couple of weeks I will be posting the answers I received.

The first one who replied was Pat Healy from Annapolis, USA. He has not only been to Olympic Games as a Judge, but in past years also as a coach.

Here are his answers to my questions:


Q1-- How long where you an International Judge before you were invited to go to an Olympic Event? Perhaps you can tell something about your experiences and what you think is needed to be an International Technical Official?

A1-- 10 yrs - first Olympics as an official (2000), 18 yrs - second Olympics (2008).

During the past four years: 9-Grade 1 Events, 6-World or Continental Championships of Olympic classes, 12-Other Olympic class events with rule 42 and/or Addendum Q. Also, four Olympics as a coach and 32 years as a professional coach.

Q2-- Can you tell us about the differences between any Grade 1 event and the Olympic competition, from a Judges point of view?

A2-- Grade 1 Events are more fun. At the Olympics everyone is under pressure: competitors, coaches, team leaders, technical officials, volunteers and judges. Everyone wants to do a good job but feels the stress. Solving problem takes more time then usual and the first answer is usually no, then you start to negotiate. The Olympic regatta is a big adventure but not a lot of fun.

Q3-- In "normal" International events CAS does not get involved, but it has in the last two Olympics. Does it change the way you do a protest hearing?

A3-- CAS has added 50% to jury work time to ensure every "i" is dotted and "t" crossed. So far the only way a "non-appealable" decision can be overturned by CAS or other sport arbitrator is if the procedures required by the rules are not followed.

Q4-- The Olympic Sailing event is the most filmed and photographed event of all. What is the influence of that on your work?

A4-- For me there is no on-the-water influence. You are so focused on what is happened that you forget that a camera may be looking over your shoulder. Hearings are longer because there is more evidence available.

Q5-- What did you enjoyed the most about the Olympics and what disappointed you?

A5-- Enjoy most - working with some of the most experienced judges in the world. The problems are harder but solutions come easier to this jury.

Enjoy the least - the number of "zero-chance" requests for redress. Although I understand the psychological need for a competitor to leave the Olympics feeling that no stone was left unturned, most of the requests for redress are for claims that the party knows have no chance to succeed.

Q6-- Do you want to do the next Olympic in 2012?

A6-- If asked absolutely, but most likely I will not be asked. There are many fine judges from my country who can do as good or better job than me. Sailing is better off with a large group of judges who have been given the Olympic responsibility and made the effort to do it correctly and wisely.

Q7-- Anything else about this Olympics you might want to share with readers of my blog?

A7-- For an aspiring judge, the easiest way is to be considered "good enough" to be considered for the Olympic jury is to (1) have lots of experience judging dinghy events so as to be seen as very knowledgeable on rule 42, and (2) race a dinghy. Selecting judges with recent, racing experience for the Olympic jury is very hard to achieve and will allow you to stand out among those being considered.

Next week Sofia Truchanowicz from Poland, one of the youngest IJ's. This was her first Olympics, but I'm sure it will not be her last....


Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Who has to Keep Clear?

Received the following mail on Monday from Gianni Restano, about an interesting conflict in the rules. I have no answer to his query....

Hi Jos,

I'm an Italian umpire, and since a couple of months ago your blog has become a mandatory daily read. Thank you very much for maintaining it!
Yesterday I saw a peculiar situation in a match race that could be interesting for your blog's readers.

Yellow is given two penalties during the pre-start. Blue starts early and is recalled. Blue realizes the recall a bit late, and as a result there is an incident between Blue sailing towards the pre-start side of the starting line (on proper course) and Yellow taking the penalty just after starting, as she is required to do.

The funny thing is that rule 20.1 says that Blue must keep clear of Yellow, whilst rule 20.2, as modified by C2.8, says the opposite. I haven't been able to find any rule, call or case which states the prevalence of either rule on the other. A common sense solution could be to have the two conflicting rules offsetting each other, and to go back to the basic rules (10, 11 and so on), but I am not too happy umpiring using just commons sense. Can you (or your readers) shed some light on this situation? Do you believe it justifies a rapid response call?

BTW: the new rulebook (2009-2012) doesn't solve the issue.

Thank you, hope to meet you somewhere on a rubber duck,
Gianni Restano

Well Gianni, I did some research and could not find a call or case answering this either. But I do know that the rules in part A do not apply. The preamble of section D specifically states that they do not, when rule 20 or 21 applies between two boats. For now, both have to keep clear. I would think the boat taking a penalty has a greater obligation to do so, but I cannot back that up with the rules.

Perhaps one of the LTW readers has a different opinion? If not, it might indeed be worth a Question to the Rapid Response Call WP.


Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Once upon a time....the End


My "fairy tales" generate more visitors than any Q&A or true story ever can.
After being published in Scuttlebutt 2721 my post 'A Lesson in Umpiring' generated over a 1000 visitors. I should start all my posts with: 'Once upon a time......'

Perhaps I should follow Tillerman's poll and write about: 'Whatever the hell I want' as long as there is at least one magical creature in it. I will ask Mss Esmerelda Wheaterwax to teach me headology or Nanny Ogg how to curse. "Bugger all that, let's curse someone"

Please excuse me, I have to find a frying pan. I just experienced a 'sussurus' and have to look for the Nac Mac Feegle, before they steal all my possessions.... and my mind.

Monday, 10 November 2008

LTW Readers Q&A | 13

Received another rules question about sailing the course, this time from Luigi Cuccotti, IRO from Italy.

In his E-mail he writes: I have a Q&A to submit which I’m sending in the attachment. The facts are true, but in this race I was a competitor, not the chairman of the race committee. Thanks a lot for your kind attention.

His Q:


Race for Off Shore boats, with marks. Windward-Leeward course.
The Sailing Instructions establish:

  1. “The change course will be signaled according to rule 33.”
  2. “The boats are obliged to tune in on the official channel VHF 72. The race committee will be listening to boat communications during the race on this channel, and will make radio communications as well, when possible, about the race and, when required, will make changes to sailing instructions under rule 89.2(c) RRS ISAF 2005-2008”


  1. During the second leg (leeward leg) the chairman of the Race Committee said on the radio, on the official channel: “Change next leg, new compass bearing is 125° (the old was 120°) and the length of the leg is 2.2 nautical miles (the old length was 2.0 n.m.).”
  2. The Race Committee chairman didn’t announce any changes to sailing instructions.
  3. Near the leeward mark there was a race committee boat, she displayed only flag “C” and made sound signals.
  4. This boat did not show
    - a board with the new compass bearing or a triangular green flag
    - a board with +
  5. Change of the next leg of the course wasn’t made according to rule 33, as established on the sailing instructions.


Has a boat, who does not round the new mark indicated by radio, but rounds the old mark, sailed the course correctly according to rule 28?


My A:

No, in my opinion the boat has not sailed the correct course. If you apply the string test, it doesn't pass the new mark on the required side.

The change in the sailing instructions was done orally by radio, but that is permitted because the procedure to do so, is stated in the SI (Rule 89.2(c)). Boats are obliged to listen to CHF-channel 72 and the change was announced. She should have rounded the new mark.

However, in order to disqualify this boat, she must first be protested by someone, be it by the RC or another competitor. A boat may not be disqualified without a hearing for breaking rule 28. If the PC decided that the boat did break that rule, she is then entitled to ask for redress, because she will then be DSQ'd and that is a significant worsening of her score.

The boat might be able to get redress, since one of the requirements of rule 62.1 has been met (requirement a).Not showing the compass bearing or a green triangle and a board with a "plus" sign, as written in rule 33, is an omission by the RC.

But the boat must also show there was "no fault of her own". If this boat has heard the radio transmission, that would be very hard to uphold. Because she chose to ignore that message, there is, at least in part, some fault of her own.

Even if she didn't hear the VHF-radio message, the PC must find out why. If there was no good reason to not listen (and that does not include a broken VHF), part of the fault again lies with the boat.

If she just sailed to the old mark because she wanted to show how "wrong" the RC was doing, she is NOT entitled to redress and the DSQ will stand.


What is your opinion?


Saturday, 8 November 2008

ISAF Conference 2008 MADRID

The ISAF Conference in Madrid has started since Thursday and although this year all attention is focused on Olympic equipment issues, there are also numerous other issues on the table.

ISAF Annual C2008Not in the least the appointment of all but a few committee members in this post Olympic conference. Every four years the committees get a reshuffle. Some of the members will stay on, others leave and new people are invited to join the different committees and working parties.

I've had a look at the agenda's of the IJ Sub Committee, the IU Sub Committee and the Race Officials Committee.

Interesting to note in the IJSC Agenda are:


(a) Grouping of IJs; To receive and discuss ROC guidance on the grouping of IJs. This must be something similar as the already in place grouping system for IU. In that system IU's are grouped in three groups, with subgroups in group 2, to make sure that appointments by ISAF of Race Officials to events is done with knowledge of the skills of the individual.
(Group one is most experienced, Group two is 'standard' or new IUs and group three are all ungrouped IUs)

(b) Education of IJs; To discuss proposal for “refresher training” of IJs. I've heard rumors about testing all IJ also every four years, to make sure they are up to par with rules and procedures.

(c) Rule 42 Education Programme.; To receive a report from Bill O’Hara on the Rule 42 workshops held in 2008 and to review the plans for 2009. Maybe a subgroup for rule 42 Judges?

Also on the agenda the IJ manual:

(a) Updates; To note the updates to the International Judges Manual
(b) New Sections; To discuss the need to include sections on:
- CAS (Court of Arbitration in Sports)
- dealing with minors (more and more an issue in current sports events)
- define the tasks of a protest committee scribe

This last agenda issue I find interesting. Up until now the scribe was a more or less random choice in panels. Anybody could be asked to do it. As if anybody had the necessary skill to do it correctly all the time. Being a good scribe takes practice and advice from experts. You need to learn how to do it. So including it in the manual is in my opinion a given.

The IU Sub Committee agenda has also a few interesting items:

In 10 DEVELOPMENT the IUSC will discuss the progress in: Support to Ungrouped and Group 2 IUs; To receive a report from Kirk Brown on the progress of the mentor project offered to ungrouped IUs and Group 2 IUs.

I've been part of that program for a couple of months, but haven't been able to get much out of it - part due to the fact I haven't been at an event with my mentor, part because I have not taken the time to discuss issues with him. It is not always easy to put in writing .... Also because there's no program, no syllabus, no specific goals other than the ones you formulate yourself and not much guidance from ISAF. For both me and the mentor.

In the ROC agenda this item drew my attention:

13. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST; (a) Guidelines for the assessments
To discuss the draft guidelines to assess conflicts of interest.

Perhaps you've glanced at RRS 63.4? The new rule is:

63.4 Interested Party.
A member of a protest committee who is an interested party shall not take any further part in the hearing but may appear as a witness.
Protest committee members must declare any possible self-interest as soon as they are aware of it. A party to the hearing who believes a member of the protest committee is an interested party shall object as soon as possible.
(my emphasis)

An issue which has certainly been put in the spotlight by this year's FARR 40 protest in the World Championship.

In all three committee meetings the appointment and re-appointment of Race Officials will be discussed:
- To consider the lists of nominations for appointment as International Judge, International Umpire, International Race Officer and International Measurer.

I'm due next year for my IJ-status, so no nail biting for me this year. But I wish those who are up the best of luck!

If you want to read the full Agendas here are the links:

International Judges Sub-Committee Agenda, meeting today,
International Umpires Sub-Committee Agenda, meeting also today,
Race Officials Committee Agenda. meeting on Monday November 10th.


Thursday, 6 November 2008

A Lesson in Umpiring

or - Never Flinch in giving a Penalty -

As told to me by an experienced umpire, about what he learned in younger days....


Once upon a time there was a friendly umpire at a nice event. He was enjoying the sailing and had a great time flying his flags.

Because he was in such a good mood, he showed the green and white flag with extra zest and enthusiasm. But if needed, he blew his whistle also extra loud for a blue or yellow penalty if he thought it was an "extra" deserving penalty.

In Flight five, Match two, the two opponents were not very even. Yellow had clearly been doing this a lot longer than Blue and in the second downwind leg had almost an 80% lead.

Our happy umpire was a good hundred meters away from the windward mark, when he saw the boom of the Blue trailing boat, hit the orange Mark.
~Lets give them a break~ he thought, ~they are so far behind, I will pretend I didn't see it, and not penalize them~

Five seconds later the halyard of the spinnaker on the Yellow boat broke with a loud snap and the spinnaker dropped in the water. The boat all but stopped. The crew immediately went to work to clear up the mess.

Blue sailed on and halved the distance.

Yellow - still a good 40 meters away from the finish - struggled to get the wet spi out from under the bow.

Blue found a little extra wind and came closer and closer.

Yellow still moved agonizingly slow.

Our happy Umpire started to worry a bit and he motored closer.

Blue was only ten meters behind Yellow when they finally cleared the spinnaker out of the water and picked up a little more speed.

In the meantime Blue, flying a beautiful red kite themselves, sailed to leeward of Yellow and created an overlap. Our umpire's hart sank when the Race Committee showed a blue flag when the boats crossed the finish line.

The difference was only one meter, the race officer told our umpire after the Match. With a served penalty, Yellow would have had time to finish first...

Happy no longer, our umpire tried to console himself with a promise:
Never will I not give a penalty out of pity or happiness. Hitting a Mark equals a flag. No exceptions.....

The End.


"My marriage is like a fairy tale"
"Every time I come home, there's that Witch sitting on the couch"

Ladies Only | 3

On Sunday 2nd of November we had the final day of the Ladies Only in Hamburg on lake Alster. Together with a couple of 'die-harts' who went sailing on - what we in the Netherlands would call - a "watercold" Sunday, we sailed semi finals and place finals for all the spots.

One of the teams was a last minute replacement for a team that couldn't attend. They eventually sailed for places 5 and 6 and managed to win! Tania, Venita, Laura H. and Laura S., you did very well for a first time team!


Also one of the reasons I mention them, is that as an umpire you come to expect some of the maneuvers boats are going to make. You have to anticipate to be able to be on the correct place to see the rules issues. With new teams that is sometimes a challenge. So the lesson I learned was to keep a greater distance with inexperienced crews. But I'm sure this particular team will be able to learn to do the right moves very fast, if they keep the learning curve up.

The club organizing the event also had a youth regatta the previous day and the young sailor winning the local Opti event, was a very keen student of the rules. He asked permission to join us on the umpire boat, forgoing the price giving. The next day he was back and I had the pleasure to tell him something about umpiring. So on the final day, Oscar, 13 years old, struggling with his first words in English, joined us for a couple of matches.

He still has a good deal to learn but I was impressed by his knowledge and dedication.


And, yes, that is Oscar standing behind me and Stephan in the umpire boat.

I think that particularly this club is doing a very good job teaching young sailors the joy of sailing in all its forms and shapes. The Alster Acts for instance, which will be closed in a fortnight with the 12th event this year, are giving new match racers the chance to learn.

The fact that they manage to do a good job is clearly visible in the winner of the event Team Halbrock, who are members of HSC.

With Silke Hahlbrock as helm and Marion Rommel, Maren Hahlbrock and Nele-Marie Bock as crew, they beat last years winners Team Lethinen from Finland in the finals with two against one. Congratulations!

I've put all the photos on Flickr. You can have a look by clicking on Ladies Only MR 2008 at my account.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Standard Documents for Match Racing 2009-2012

On the ISAF Website two standard documents have been published for Match Racing under the new rules 2009-2012.
Following the publication of the 2009-2012 edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing, the standard Notice of Race and standard Sailing Instructions should be used for all Match Racing events starting after 1 January 2009.

The concept of the standard Notice of Race (NoR) and standard Sailing Instructions (SIs) is that all the well known options have been included to give each event organizer a reasonable degree of freedom. Having selected a particular option the actual NoR and SIs used will remain 'standard' and therefore be well tested and easily recognizable by all involved. As many options have been included the standard may appear to be long. However, when the options that are not required and the comments column are deleted, the length of the SIs for each event is more reasonable.

If your event finds that it needs other options, or that an amendment to the standard is required, please send a proposal to the ISAF for consideration for the next version.

Please remember to read these standards in conjunction with Appendix C - Match Racing Rules. The Standard NoR and SIs should be used together. Duplication of NoR and SI has been used in order that the SIs are complete for each event.

As usual, your comments and suggestions for improving this standard are always welcome.

On a personal note I think that standardization of NOR and SI are a must in Sailing. Nobody wants to study eleven pages before going on the water. Necessary information should be always at the same place in the document and always in a logical order.
These files make it easy to comply.


Tuesday, 4 November 2008


From Maritime Heritage to Spirit of Tradition

Classic Boat Show 2008 holds course
Maritime Heritage steers safely through global crisis

While the financial crisis has knocked the wind out of the global market, Thedo Fruithof is calmly finalising the arrangements for the Classic Boat Show from his humble abode in Andijk. Later this week the enormous exhibition hall on the Gependam will be constructed and will host 130 exhibitors and 65 ships during three full days of maritime pleasure from 7 – 9 November 2008.
“This Show is different from all the previous ones,” says the proud MC Fruithof, “For example, the steamer towboat the Rosalie (1873) and the restored Rhine barge Helena (1875) are unique examples of the riveting tradition that can now be applied in polyester."

Upgraded web site
For regular visitors to the web site this is old news, but the Classic Boat Show 2008 offers many new features. The web site provides easy access to all the companies and organizations that you can meet at the Show. The site features a photo gallery of most of the boats that are on display during the Show in Enkhuizen, with full details. The site offers a comprehensive international trade catalogue, but also local information on where to stay and dine, as well as the current weather report. Enjoy the great variety of exhibits as well as the film program, lectures, and meetings and bring your kids to the children’s program. Please do visit the web site for all the attractions and updates to this year’s Classic Boat Show and Maritime Heritage
For example…
Symposium: New Rules and Regulations for Inland Shipping
A symposium is organised by the Federatie van Oude Nederlandse Vaartuigen (Federation of old Dutch Vessels) about new European and Dutch rules and regulations for inland shipping. The Saturday symposium is open to skippers, ship owners and members of conservation organisations and will meet on the MS Terra Nova.

New York and Henry Hudson 400
In 1609, under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company, Captain Hudson set sail out of Amsterdam on the Half Moon in search of a passage to China. Instead, he discovered the best natural harbour in the world and the island of Manhattan. Shortly after this discovery, New Amsterdam was founded and gradually developed into the world’s capital city, known as New York. Dutch settlers brought with them a deep tradition of enlightenment, tolerance, and acumen which became a hallmark of its new-world colony. The early settlement of New Amsterdam with its multiethnic, dynamic inhabitants mirrors the diverse, cosmopolitan culture for which New York City is revered throughout the world. With a celebration of these noteworthy beginnings, Henry Hudson 400 plans to reinforce the deep ties between these two cultures. In 2009, Henry Hudson 400 will commemorate the legendary voyage with two three-day festivals in both Amsterdam and in New York. A transatlantic sailing race for the larger vessels will connect both cities; about 35 smaller vessels such as botters, tjalks and skûtsjes, will be transported across the ocean in a cargo ship. The Henry Hudson 400 Foundation presents its plans at the Classic Boat Show.

Sailing is my vocation
The Dutch interest group for professional sailing (BBZ) presents an introductory day on Saturday, November 8th, for people who are interested in working in chartering and yacht building. Various stands provide information, lectures are planned as well as a job market. To get a feel of these professions you can sign on for a journey on the two-master barge Helena that sails from Rotterdam to Enkhuizen and back (see for details).

100 year old Hengst
The mussel-fishing barge Jan Korneel was restored to its original state by the Tolerant Foundation in the Belgian town of Rupelmonde. This authentic oak fishing boat, dating back to 1908, is one of eight remaining originals of its kind, of which thousands sailed the river Schelde only a century ago. The restoration took two years and was supervised by the craftsman Cees Droste. The 100 year old Hengst Jan Korneel was re-launched on September 14th and can be admired at the Classic Boat Show.

“Enkhuizen is THE place to see all types of historic vessels of any length during this comprehensive and compact boat show. The exhibit is concentrated in one large exhibition hall, bigger than last year”, says organizer Thedo Fruithof, “This historic town, which was once a main harbour of the East-India Company’s fleet, provides a contemporary background. Visitors travelling by train or bus arrive on the spot with the show right next door to the station; and visitors arriving by car can enjoy a wonderful ferry crossing along the historic vessels on show.”

7-9 November 2008
Daily 10:00-18:00 hrs
Fairground next to the NS-Railway Station, Enkhuizen
FREE parking and ferry transport, follow directions on site
Entrance fee: € 10

We look forward to seeing you at Classic Boat Show 2008,
With kind regards,
Thedo Fruithof and Wim de Bruin

LTW Readers Q&A | 12

Due to another Appeals Committee meeting yesterday, which started at seven so I had to leave straight after work, I wasn't able to post. Therefore today the Q&A which was suppose to go on-line yesterday. This one is from Sen from Japan, who has a question about race management and what to write in the SI:

Oct 28th, 2008
My sister yacht club is planning to conduct a big boat regatta. The regatta consists of three inshore races and one offshore race during three days.

There is a problem about the offshore race. The estimated course of the offshore race is as follows;
Race area ----- Pacific Ocean, the Kii Channel to the bay of Osak;
Course configuration ----- Start - Turning point mark – Finish
  1. Starting area ----- Place: near the shore, Starting line: between RC boat and a buoy
  2. Turning point ----- Place: at the middle of the Kii Channel, Mark: RC boat is set up
  3. Finishing area ----- as same as the Start area

Sailing Instructions about the Turning point as follows;
  1. The round mark at the middle of the Kii Channel will be a RC boat displaying flag M and shall be left to port.
  2. Boats shall leave the round mark within 500 meters distance from the mark.
  3. When course is shortened at the mark, the RC boat will display flag S. Boats shall finish the imaginary line which is drawn in zero (0) degrees direction indicated by magnetic compass from the staff displaying flag S on the race committee boat.

  1. At the point of round mark, the depth is very deep and also the tide is strong.
  2. It is all the RC boat can anchor at the point and the RC wants to evade to set up the other mark as possible as it can.
  3. Case 45

Question; will such SIs follow the RRS?

Sen, I don't think there's anything in the rules which states there must be a 'pin-end' finishing mark. But theoretical it would then be an unending line and - as one of the International Judges I talked to about this, suggested - it could go round the globe and not end until it comes back to the RC boat. Which would make finishing on the other side also correct according to the rules.... Well, that is not something we would want.
I suggest the following amendment to the text in the SI:
  1. When course is shortened at the mark, the RC boat will display flag S. The finish line will be a line in zero (0) degrees direction indicated by magnetic compass from the staff displaying flag S on the race committee boat. Boats shall cross this line within a distance of 500 meters from the RC boat, leaving the RC boat to port. This changes RRS 32.2
I've added the last short sentence because of RRS 86.1(b) which prescribes that you may change a racing rule in the SI, but only by referring specifically to it, as well as stating the change.

Any other opinions? Feel free to comment.


Sunday, 2 November 2008

Australian Judges Seminar Report

Brass send me a report on how the National judges program is doing 'Down Under'. He attended a local judges seminar and Emailed me the following report:

Dear Jos,

I've been away for 6 weeks delivering a boat and sailing in two large regattas in Northern Australia.

Since I've been back I have attended a local judges seminar. The Seminar Preparation series on LTW was extremely helpful, and just at the right time for me. Thanks to LTW I managed to pass the test at the National Judges standard. Now all I have to do is get my assessments and accumulate the experience requirements.

I thought our seminar spent too much time on administration matters noticed that it was much less fast-paced and demanding than the IJ seminars you have described, but it was absolutely terrific to have two IJs spending their weekend trying hard to convey their vast experience and improve your standard.

I guess I have been working up to this for some time. Two years ago I did an Umpires course which was extensive and very good. I have been following LTW and other sailing websites and doing the exercises and solving rules problems pretty regularly.

To prepare myself for the seminar and the test, I took copies of all the quizzes and test material in the LTW downloads directory

Tests were
a.. ISA 100 Questions.doc
b.. NASS rules Test 2001.pdf
c.. NASS rules Test 2002.pdf
d.. Quick Test.pdf
e.. US SAILING Judges Workshop Study Questions 2003.pdf
f.. US SAILING Judges Workshop Study Questions 2005.pdf
I also used Dave Dellenbaugh's Racing Rules IQ Quiz Speed&Smarts/87_Rules_IQ_Test.pdf

I started by doing the Dave Dellenbaugh Rules IQ Quiz and I scored about 70%.

Looking at where I went wrong, I was able to identify rules areas where I was weak, for example, in my case, because I sail heavy keelboats, I knew next to nothing about rule 42, so I re-studied the rules that I had identified I was unfamiliar with.

I then worked my way through the other tests on LTW, correcting each test, and looking up and ensuring my correct understanding for each question I got wrong.

I did each of the LTW Seminar Preparation problems.

To finish my preparation I did the ISAF 100 Questions Quiz and made about 92%. When I eventually completed the formal Judges Test, I scored about 90% so the ISAF 100 Questions Quiz was a pretty good predictor.

The Australian Judges test consists of 45 short questions in 45 minutes.

Unlike the IQ Quiz, or the ISAF 100 Questions Quiz they are not True/False questions. They are short 'problem' questions, some with diagrams, some without. Each question has three possible answers for candidates to choose from. Unlike the ISAF Quick Test, candidates were not expected to cite rule numbers for every question.

The questions in the ISAF Quick Test were a new type to me. Each question was a 'snapshot' at one instant in time, instead of the more usual position by position build-up to the eventual incident that we usually find in LTW exercises, and each question required candidates to state the rule numbers applicable. I would be interested to know if this is typical of IJ examinations.

All in all a worthwhile seminar and I am looking forward to moving forward with judging.


Thanks Brass, and congratulations on passing the test!
I don't think the ISAF Quick Test is representative if the questions you would get at an IJ Examination. But I haven't been attending a seminar for a couple of years. The questions I made as preparation posts are my best "guess" at what kind you can expect. Perhaps other recent attendees would like to comment?
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