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.
CHANGING OF THE NEXT LEG OF THE COURSE
Race for Off Shore boats, with marks. Windward-Leeward course.
The Sailing Instructions establish:
- “The change course will be signaled according to rule 33.”
- “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”
- 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.).”
- The Race Committee chairman didn’t announce any changes to sailing instructions.
- Near the leeward mark there was a race committee boat, she displayed only flag “C” and made sound signals.
- This boat did not show
- a board with the new compass bearing or a triangular green flag
- a board with +
- 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?
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?