Tuesday, 30 September 2008

ISAF Submissions 2008 part 2 | Rules & Calls

This is part two of the Submissions to be decided on at the ISAF Annual conference in November in Madrid, Spain. All submission this time are about the Racing Rules en Calls.
  1. Submission 146-08 Pumping the Sails to clarify the rules regarding the number of times you may pull the sails and how
  2. Submission 147-08 To clarify the interpretation in Rule 89.1 of a class association
  3. Submission 148-08 Changing rule 50.4 to give a more practical distinction between a Headsail and a Spinnaker (Headsail Definition)
  4. Submission 149-08 Windsurfing; Housekeeping changes in Appendix B and introduction of other courses
  5. Submission 151-08 RRS, New Case; Discussion of the terms ‘original race’, ‘rescheduled race’, ‘restarted race’ and ‘resailed race’ , the application of rules 30.2, 30.3 and 36 to races that are restarted or resailed.
  6. Submission 152-08 RRS, New Case; When a boat sails the wrong course, another boat may decide to protest her when the course error is made, or when she finishes or at any time in-between. She must then be informed of the intention to protest at the first reasonable opportunity.
  7. Submission 153-08 RRS, New Case; It is a proper action of the race committee to penalize a boat for breaking rule 30.2 or disqualify her for breaking rule 30.3, even if, before a starting sequence was begun, the race was postponed or if, during another attempted start of the same race, a postponement or abandonment was signaled before the starting signal.
  8. Submission 154-08 RRS, Amendment to Case 78; When a boat is protested for positioning herself in a tactically controlling position over another boat and then slowing that boat’s progress so that other boats pass both of them, she must, to avoid being penalized for breaking rule 2, satisfy the protest committee that her controlling tactic had a reasonable chance of benefiting her series result. However, if she intentionally breaks a rule to increase the likelihood of the tactic succeeding, she also breaks rule 2.
The last submission is an amendment and adding to case 78. In 2005, Submission 154-05 was submitted proposing a substantial revision in Case 78. The Racing Rules Committee recommended to Council that the submission be deferred and that the Case Book Working Party resubmit it with revised wording, including an added statement to the effect that the protest committee must be satisfied that the tactics of a boat had a reasonable chance of benefiting her series score. Council accepted the committee’s recommendation. This submission is made in response to that recommendation. The case has been expanded to cover some of the issues covered in ISAF Q&A 07-008.

The Medal Races in Qingdao have put this case back on the front page. I hope it will not take another three years to get it in the Call book.

The final part in this series of posts about submission, will be about Match Race and Team Race calls. Scheduled posting is next Tuesday.


Monday, 29 September 2008

Polish Match Race Tour 2008

Just returned home from umpired at a Polish Match Race event in Iława on 27 & 28 September 2008.
It was a very well organized event with proper attention to the sailors and to the sponsors alike. The organization had an eye for details, provided excellent meals and were very hospitable to all. The venue was well suited and the race area visible from all sides. It was a pity not more spectators came to see the racing between Polish best match racers.
If this tour learns to do a few more things in English, it could become a very good circuit, to build experience for crews from all over the globe. I would certainly like to come back!

Friday, 26 September 2008

RRS 18 ON and OFF in RRS 2009-2012

When rule 18 begins to apply

The old rule 18 began to apply when boats were “about to round or pass” That was sometimes at a different moment and place then at the moment when the lock-in/ lock-out provision of rule 18.2(b) and (c) began to apply. (when the closest boat reached the zone)
You could be outside the two length zone and were already busy with your spinnaker, still not sure if you were going to round the mark as inside boat or that the overlap would be broken before the zone was reached and you would need to keep clear, as clear astern boat.

That has been changed in the new rule 18. The moment you enter the zone rule 18 begins to apply and also the lock-in/lock-out provisions of the new rules 18.2(b) and (c) begin to apply.

The “about to round” provision in the old rule had one advantage. It could be argued that the rule began to apply further from the mark with for instance fast boats, strong wind or strong favourable current. You had protection within the context of that rule when you had already an inside overlap outside he zone. That is no longer the case. Rule 18 never ‘switches’ on outside the zone.

However, the obligation of an outside boat under the new rules 18.2(b) begins to apply at the moment one of the boats enters the zone. If before that, the boats had been overlapped for some time, the outside boat had better sail a course that will be in compliance with 18.2(b) the moment she reaches the zone. If after that, the inside boat is not able to sail to the mark in a seamanlike way, the outside boat risks breaking rule 18.2(b).

So, you do need to anticipate what rule 18 will say before you reach the zone. You can’t wait until you are in the zone and then begin to start complying. With he exact moment the rule takes effect now written in the rule, comes the responsibility to comply with that rule at that very moment.

When rule 18 ceases to apply

There is no longer a sentence in the rule which states when rule 18 ceases to apply. That was in the old rule when boats ‘have passed’ the mark. The principal obligation in the new rule is to give mark room until it is no longer needed.

Rule 18.2(c) does give two specific conditions under which rule 18.2(b) ceases to apply:
- if either boat passes head to wind or
- if the boat entitled to mark room leaves the zone.
Both conditions can happen before the need for mark room has ended.

Nie zapomnij zaglosowac!

Early morning rise, drive to the airport, unavoidable delay in boarding and an uneventful flight made me arrive in Warsaw at 11:15. This is my first visit to Poland so I've already been looking around. At first glance not that much difference. Perhaps a few more older buildings, but new projects all over the place as well. Commercials, billboards and traffic like any other city.
I'm here to do a Match Race Event in Ilawa, a town on the coast we will travel to this afternoon. I'll meet a few old friends again from this part of the world. I'll try to keep you informed. Due to the extra time I had, I did do a post on the new rule 18 which I will post directly.

I'm sitting in the office of Media Connect, where the people who picked me up from the airport work. They have provided me with an internet connection, a nice cup of coffee and a place to type.
I can do some work, away from work.....

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

TP52 Protest Writing Competition 3_G vs F

The most popular pair in the bunch. Four entries this time:
3_Hedwich Kuipers TP52 Protest GvsF
3_Luigi Bertini TP52 Protest GvsF
3_Mike Butterfield TP52 Protest GvsF
3_Sen Yamaoka TP52 Protest GvsF
You can leave comments on these four below this post and also on one (late) entry - out of contention - who asked to for comments nevertheless.
David Clinnin TP52 Protest GvsF (out of contention)
Don't forget to vote!


TP52 Protest Writing Competition 2_F vs E

Only one entry for this pair, so no voting in the first round necessary. But you can leave a comment for Luigi below nevertheless.

2_Luigi Bertini TP52 Protest FvsE


TP52 Protest Writing Competition 1_C vs D

This first pair is about boat C versus D. Two entries were received:
1_Luigi Bertini TP52 Protest CvsD
1_Norm Smit TP52 Protest CvsD

You can write comments on these protest using the comment button below.
And don't forget to vote!


TP 52 Protest Writing Competition; Voting Round 1

In total seven protest were send in for the competition. I've saved all the forms as pdf's and in three separate posts you can read or download them.
I've made three posts because I invite you to give comments on the style, consistency and completeness of each protest form. I've not changed the writing or style in any way.
At the top of the side bar two voting boxes have been made available, so you can cast your vote. Please consider the following 'objective' criteria when you decide which is best:
  • enough facts found to draw a conclusion;
  • no conclusions in the facts found;
  • the conclusion fits the facts;
  • decision is consistent with the conclusion.
This first round is to determine the best of each pair; after those have been decided, the final round will be between the three 'best' entries for each pair.
You can VOTE for one week in round one.


Tuesday, 23 September 2008

ISAF Submissions 2008 part 1 | Race Officials

I've had a look at the submissions for the ISAF November conference. In part one specially those effecting Race Officials. This is a summary list, I've linked each to the relevant text, so you can read the complete submission yourselves.
  1. Submission 022-08 to bring the fee for a deputy chief umpire in line with the (increased) responsibilities such as training a new chief umpire.
  2. Submission 024-08 about better representation of the MNA's in the Olympic Jury by restricting the number of times a Race Official can do an Olympic (two times) and asking for 30% new members.
  3. Submission 055-08 to apply the fees for match race umpires to scheduled racing days, not practice days.
  4. Submission 131-08. This submission, if successful, would incorporate IFDS International Classifiers within the ISAF Race Officials Committee in line with Executive Committee discussions with the IFDS. The intention is that the International Classifiers Sub-Committee (ICSC) would be formed early in 2009 and that the first appointments of International Classifiers under the ISAF would be made in November 2009.
  5. Submission 132-08 proposes that Race officials be recommended by their MNA not only for their first appointment, but also for renewals. Based on the argument that a appointed race official should contribute to their own MNA in sharing knowledge and help with education.
  6. Submission 133-08 proposes to bring the deadline for umpire assessment into line with the other deadlines (seminars & written test). [On a personal note; this I could have used in 2007!]
  7. Submission 134-08 is about correcting an error in the regulations last year. Only umpires who send in their application for first appointment, need to hand in three IUSC Reference forms. Not umpires who apply for renewal.
  8. Submission 135-08 International Umpire? Document is not available at this moment
  9. Submission 136-08 about the criteria for International Measurer.
  10. Submission 137-08 proposes to bring the requirements for first appointment of a race officer in line with the other disciplines by requiring three reference forms.
  11. Submission 138-08 proposes to have a "recognized" race official who can function in all respects as an international race official, but does not have to meet the requirements in experience. This so that he/she can get that experience in a period of four years and then apply for IJ/IU/IRM - status.
  12. Submission 139-08 to bring the hearing process in case of a negative report in line with regulation 51.
  13. Submission 140-08 to inform the chairman of the relevant Sub-committee even in case of a "minor" negative report about a race official.
  14. Submission 150-08 to give the authority to the Racing Rules Committee to deal with the introductory racing rules.
  15. Submission D133-07 to rename International Race Officers into International Race Managers on the argument that Officers is to close to Officials.
On all these submissions the (sub)committees have to make a recommendation so that the council can decide. Not all will make it and most of them will be amended in one way or another.

Submission 138-08 is controversial in my opinion. How can you be an International Judge or Umpire if you lack the experience? On the other side, if accepted, it would make it a lot easier to get to a bigger event where you can learn. There's a restriction how many can be on a panel or umpire team, so the quality is not compromised.

I have to see what becomes of 024-08. If passed, a lot of long standing judges - who now serve on the Olympic jury - will have to make room for others. A lot of them are doing it already more then two times. Since they are also the ones who vote in committee, I don't think this submission has a chance, but you never know.

What do you think about these submissions?

UPDATE 24/09/08: 1220 hours; ISAF has fixed the link.

8. Submission 135-08 When a candidate for IU has failed the examination twice, this submission proposes that a third attempt may only be done after a positive decision from the chairman of the IUSC and that any subsequent attempt may not take place, within four years the failed third time. And only when all requirements of first application have been fulfilled. Three strikes you're out, but you can start again from scratch.


Monday, 22 September 2008

iShares Cup Amsterdam 2008 | 2

The first day at the iShares cup in Amsterdam brought a few rules issues, very close racing and lots of calls. To many to go into them all.
The iShares Extreme 40 at the iShares Cup finale in Amsterdam
� Vincent Curutchet/DPPI/OC Events

One of them involved a pile up at the gate with virtually all Extreme 40s. I'm afraid I did see the first part of that and decided to penalise one of the boats. In hindsight one of the other boats which piled in there, caused the penalised both to break the rules. It was to hard to see with a gate of six lengths and 8 or 9 boats. But that's in the game. Next time I'll concentrate not so much on who's doing what, but on the r.o.w./right to room boat. The one who "owns" the rounding.

Anyway, we did get to try out our decision to only use red flag penalties. By only using tack-penalties that is sometimes not much of a "punishment", for instance in the beat, so we penalized that same boat again, to make sure the position it ended up in, was behind the boats it infringed. Perhaps a pink flag penalty would make it more efficient? I'm not sure.

On Saturday we did use the pink flag when it was appropriate. Having to do a gybe in the beat is a huge disadvantage when there's not much wind to get you round. But on the other hand, only having to do a gybe on a reach can be done by a bear off and twice flicking the sail.
To define the leg of the course - as with match racing - and let the penalty depend on which leg a boat is on, does not work for this event. To close race-area and to much shifts from the buildings. Also on other venues sometimes a reaching course is laid out.

By using pink and red we can control the penalty, but take on the responsibility of deciding the severity. In a special event like the iShares Cup that is only possible if the umpire group can stay consistent.

On Sunday there was even less wind then the previous days, less spectacular for the sailors and public. But the rules-issues were not that complicated and could be followed with more ease.

Extreme 40 fleet on day 3 at Amsterdam
� Vincent Curutchet/DPPI/OC Events

We saw Alinghi win not only the Amsterdam event, but also the series. I contribute their win to looking and finding the wind every time. To very smooth helmsmanship - no braking helm movements at all- and staying out of trouble as keep clear boat very early. No risks in that regard. Hat off to Ed Baird and crew who learned a lot about sailing these extreme 40's, since I saw them capsize in Lugano.


Reminder post: TP52 Protest Writing Competition

Just a quick reminder that the deadline for the still ongoing protest writing exercise competition from this post: TP52 Protest Writing Exercise. is tonight 22:00 hours. I'm a bit disappointed by the number of entries, but will honor the rules and we'll pick a winner who receives a free set of magnetic protest boats.

Later today I'll report back on the iShares Cup in Amsterdam

Friday, 19 September 2008

iShares Cup Amsterdam 2008 | 1

From yesterday-evening I'm at the iShares cup finals in Amsterdam. The race village has been set up and first skippers- and umpire meeting have been held. The sailors had a practice day yesterday, we will have to jump in, this afternoon, right from the start of race one.

We've gone over the SI and - how can it be otherwise - due to the extraordinary location a few changes were introduced. The Extreme 40's sail in between two stone key-walls in an area of about 200 by 800 meters, all ten of them. Which makes for extreme close racing. We will bring two umpire boats on the water and will put someone on the camera-crane to act as a "sky born" wing. The idea is to give the umpires warnings and information about the distances to and from marks etc. We'll have to see how that works. I'll bring my camera and hopefully can snap a few pictures to show you what that's like.

Tommy Hilfiger racing at Amsterdam prior to the 2008 iShares Cup final by Sander van der Borch/iShares

To return to the rules; in the sailing instructions we have the opportunity to give two sorts of penalty. Signalling with a red flag means the infringing cat has to sail clear and pass through head to wind, signalling with a pink flag means, sail clear and gybe. Unusual in this is the "sail clear" part. The penalty begins with that part and also means that a boat who is sailing clear has to keep clear of other boats.

Another change is the use of the Match Race version of rule 18.3. These big cats - like all multihulls - stall very easily when tacking, so if one of them tacks inside the two-lengths, the fetching boat can still be along way off and coming at full speed will be at the mark quickly. If it then has to go round and has to go above close hauled, the stalled tacking boat already breaks the "normal" rule 18.3. Not very useful in these races. So we are using the match race version. If the fetching boat can luff to avoid the tacking boat and avoid becoming overlapped inside her, then rule 18.2(c) shall apply as if the boats were clear ahead and clear astern at the two lenght zone. If it can't avoid becoming overlapped inside the tacking boat, that boat shall keep clear and rules 15 and 18.2 do not apply.

We've also changed rule 18.4 so that it does not apply at a gate-mark. It is impossible to judge if a boat will take one or the other mark untill the very last moment, and the outside boat will have claimed 18.4 long before that becomes clear.

The courses also have been adapted to this location. I don't have a scanner here, so at the moment I can't show you, but suffice it to say, a special camera-mark is part of it.

I'll report back when I can.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

IDMMRD | 3 Formatting the Matches

At the IDMMRD last weekend we ran into a problem Saturday-evening we had not anticipated. Actually one of the teams asked questions about it.

Let me explain; The event was to be held with twelve teams, but at the very latest possible moments, one of the teams had to cancel due to family circumstances. Only eleven teams and a format for a two grouped round robin with six teams each. The RC decided - after he spoke about this to umpire team - to go ahead and give the five teams in group two a scoring against the one who didn't attend. They would have a win each.

For all intense and purposes we thought that would be no problem, and it wasn't for the winners. But it became a problem for teams sailing for places 7 to 11. In order to let each pair sail of for place 7 or 8, 9 or 10, and 11 or 12, the teams were placed in an order according to their result in the round robin.

Team X in group two was placed fifth with one point against the not attending team and Team Y in group one was placed sixth with one point against another sailing team. Therefore Team X was placed 10th and Team Y 11th.

" Surely it is not fair to be placed lower then a team who hasn't "earned" points against a competitor who was attending" :One of the teams asked us Saturday evening.....

Good point. But what to do about it? The round robins were sailed, we didn't want to upset the whole shooting match, we had sailed for places in the quarter finals and all....

Leif (CU) came up with a good solution. Instead of sailing for individual places (7 or 8, 9 or 10 etc) we would complete the round robin between the five competing teams. They would be scored with only those points they had sailed in the first round robin against the others in that group of five and would only sail against the team in the other group. Thus completing a round robin. That meant 6 matches (instead of 3) but we had perfect weather and we had time to do it.

Perfect! Also because the imbalance of sailing one less match in group 2 was fixed as well. Group 2 Teams had to sail three times each, Group 1 teams twice.

You can argue that only the winner is important, but for Match Racing each point you can get to add to your ranking, is a point. And they all felt they rather sail for it then be scored based on not attending teams.

All in all a good lesson in format. Oh, and in the discussions surrounding this, I also learned most teams prefer to sail a full round robin then go to quarter finals, semi finals etc...



FTBD (10)

I made a error last month, this 'Flog The Blog Day' is marking ten months of blogging. Starting 18 November 2007 - now 18 September 2008 = yes, 10 months... Must have been too eager last month. Anyway, subscriptions have been going up steadily, as well as e-mailing (And yes, please be patient, I will get back to you all, but it will take some time). A couple of postings in Scuttlebutt again and on the different forums and web sites more and more links are appearing.
I'm also still fiddling with the design and layout. I've put up a anitmated tag cloud and would be interested in your comments. Currently I'm trying to change the tags-list in a pull down menu. That would reduce the long list, which takes up too much space. I'm still not happy with the logo, but that will have to wait.
As always, please feel free to make suggestions, comment on the posts but also on the blog (design, color, layout etc.) and above all, correct me if I make a mistake.


UK Halsey Rules Quiz 25

On the UK-Halsey Sailmakers web site a new rules quiz is published:
Rules Quiz 25
This one is about rule RRS 16.1 and 10.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

6 Seawoman

At the IDMMRD 2008 I did find time to snap a couple of pictures. A couple of them especially to send to Never Sea Land in lieu of the fact that two teams had shirts with 'Seawoman' printed on them.

It reminded me of the ongoing series of posts about "mermaids" David of that blog, is posting.
You could call a mermaid a woman of the sea, a seawoman.

The ladies of the two Portuguese teams didn't have "fishy tails" but otherwise they sure qualified in my book. Proof that not all "mermaids" are legendary?

You can find the photos at http://flickr.com/photos/21650921@N03sets/72157607305465369/ among all the others I took.

If you want to know more about the Seawoman project go to: http://www.seawoman.org/


TP52 Protest Writing (Exercise) Competition

This post is to remind all of my readers about the still ongoing protest writing exercise competition from this post: TP52 Protest Writing Exercise.
So far only five entries have been received: two protest about C vs D, two protest about F vs G and one protest about F vs E.

Best in each pair will go trough to the finals and the winner will receive free of charge a brand new set of magnetic protest boats from this post: Magnetic Protest Boat Kit | 2

So here's the challenge:
  1. Pick one pair (and one pair only); you may only write one protest for each pair.
  2. Write a set of facts found about what you think has happened - does NOT have to be what actually happened, but must be to the point without any unnecessary facts and no conclusions;
  3. Draw a conclusion and rules involved based on the facts found, as you have written;
  4. Write a decision.
Do YOU want to become an good Judge? Then start writing, it's a skill you need to practice!
The deadline is 22:00 hours Monday the 22nd of September 2008.


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

IDMMRD | 1 Green Flag

In IDMMRD | 1 Umpire Call I asked you to give an answer the Yankee-flag of the Blue boat.
In the poll 32 'Umpires' voted, with an overwhelming majority choosing for the Green flag. One opted for penalizing Blue and two thought Yellow had infringed a rule.

Yellow flag: 2 (6%); Blue flag: 1 (3%); Green flag: 29 (90%);
Red flag: 0 (0%); Black flag: 0 (0%) Votes so far: 32; Poll closed

Well, on the water we also went for Green!

Most of the comments were correct in finding no fault in either boat. The first rule governing this incident is 18.2(c) because Yellow entered the two-length zone clear ahead. Blue was following close behind anticipating to catch Yellow at the moment she passed head to wind.
The last sentence in rule 18.2(c) states:
"If the boat that was clear ahead passes head to wind, rule 18.2(c) no longer applies and remains inapplicable"
Yellow was perfectly aware of this and only luffed next to the mark, up to head-to-wind, slowing down. Thereby forcing Blue to bear away to the outside. Yellow was the r-o-w boat from the moment she entered the two-length zone and Blue had to keep clear. Which she did.

Yellow then passes head to wind which 'switches' off rule 18.2(c) and became keep clear boat under rule 13.
After her tack she became shortly the keep clear boat under rule 10 because Yellow is on port and Blue still on SB. But after Blue also luffed and passed head-to-wind, Yellow again becomes r-o-w boat under rule 13 and then, on completion of the tack by Blue, r-o-w boat under RRS 11.

This scenario is very common in match racing, although many sailors at first find it difficult to deal with. It feels like the rules give you a better "protection" if you are entering the zone as inside boat, then as a clear ahead boat. But if you know how to deal with a close following boat, you can use the rules to your advantage and increase your lead.

Yellow also could have slowed down before reaching the mark.


Monday, 15 September 2008

NEW! Complete RRS 2009-2012

On the ISAF Site the Racing Rules of Sailing for the next cycle have been published:

I spoke to the rule 18 working party's chairman Dick Rose, a couple of weeks back, regarding the date on publication. In order to prevent misinterpretation of the new rules, the working party wanted to publish a explanatory document outlining the changes and effects. They hadn't counted on the faster pace of the www and wanted to publish around November/December.

I've been send a preliminary copy of that document and in the next couple of weeks I will again be posting about the new rules and giving you a heads up on the explanation of the working party.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

IDMMRD | 2 To Red or not to Red

Second call from the “Internationale Deutsche Meisterschaft der Frauen im Match Race” is about rule 19. Up until now everybody has voted for a Green flag in the first case, so this time I have made it a little more difficult.
In the diagram below we gave a penalty to Blue. That boat called for room to tack under rule 19.1
She was close hauled, signalled her intention twice with the appropriate hand signals and then tacked. After the second hail, Yellow signalled "you tack" by pointing at Blue and waving to windward. So far all proper and according to the rules.

Blue tacked and sailed a for one and a half boatlenght on port and then Yellow responded by luffing and a few seconds later by also tacking to port. During her luff she showed the Yankee flag.

Because Blue had enough room to either go behind Yellow or tacking back to starboard, Yellow fulfilled her obligation under rule 19 by giving Blue room to keep clear. Blue however broke rule 10 by not keeping clear.

Penalty on Blue.

Now I have two questions for you:
  1. Should we have given Blue a double penalty and if so, why?
  2. Should we have given Blue a red flag penalty and if so, why?

Saturday, 13 September 2008

IDMMRD | 1 Umpire Call

  • Yellow and Blue, both on SB, on the sb-layline to the windward mark;
  • Yellow entering the two-length zone, 2 meters clear ahead of Blue;
  • Blue enters the two lenght zone and Yellow, stil clear ahead, bears away slightle;
  • Yellow luffs to head to wind next to the mark and slows down. Distance between Y & B is now 1 meter;
  • Blue bears of forcefully to pass behind Yellow and shows Yankee flag
  • When Blue is half a boat length passed Yellow's stern, Yellow passes head to wind and tacks
  • Blue luffs and tacks as well. (changed)
  • Both round the mark and continue the Match.

Umpire's signal a decision by showing which flag?

You can answer this call by voting in the poll, almost on top of the sidebar
Poll closes Monday-evening 23:00 hours.


Friday, 12 September 2008

A Friendly Navigation Voice

Currently I’m sitting in a hotel room in Essen (GER) writing you this post. It’s 7.30 in the morning and I just got out of bed. For the next three days I’m Umpiring for the “Internationale Deutsche Meisterschaft der Frauen im Match Race”.

For sure the one thing I’ve learned already at this event, is to get a car-navigation system. A friendly voice telling me how to get to the “Alma Strasse” and my hotel. Essen is a large town and in a strange traffic flow I feel like a tourist keeping everybody waiting, sorting out the street names - if I can find the bloody sign, that is – and reading a map at the same time, while driving. Some of the moves I’ve made, must have been illegal in any traffic-system. Best behavior for a foreigner….

Late yesterday evening I met Leif, the Finnish Chief Ump and Katrin, one of the locals. We had a beer and talked about certification and umpiring. Leif already has many many years experience under his belt and I suspect it would be interesting to do some umpiring with him. Not that it is going to happen, because I’ll probably be paired with one of the national people.
The venue is a small bend in the river Ruhr, called Baldeney See.
Looking out the window, no wind at the moment, so we’ll see how much the current can help…

I’ll keep you informed, but posting may be a little erratic the next couple of days.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Hail to the Flag!

Black Flag



Before there ...

Before there was chaos

Before there was awful darkness

Before there was THE room &THE judges

Before there was the sailor who tried to remember
the fifteenth windward leeward mark rounding at one o'clock
in the morning after three hours waiting and five hearings, in the
team race championship, to decide which team had scored seventeenth ..

YankeeGreenWhite FlagBlue FlagYellow FlagRed Flag
After there was a response to any Yankee flag so a sailor could concentrate on the race and plan his strategy and tactics based on the rules, because
the other boat was obliged to follow them or do the penalty...

After there was a hearing straight after the match,

After there was THE umpire bringing solace

After there was bright light

After there was order

After there was

a Flag



umpire flags matchracing set

@@ Best Sailing Invention Ever? on Proper Course by Tillerman.


Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Amorita vs Sumurun | Settlement out of court

In March this year I wrote a post about a pending court case between two yacht owners. If you want to refresh your memory go here: Hear Yee, Hear Yee, ... Amorita vs Sumurun

I was interested why this incident, which was subject of a protest and two subsequent appeal hearings, ever ended up in court.

Amorita in full gear

On Monday in the Village Soup an article appeared announcing that the two parties had settled out of court. The post, written by Holly S. Anderson, has no information on the how and the what. Both sets of lawyers are keeping stumm, so to speak. And in the court records the settlement was not made public. You can read the whole post: Settlement reached in Sumurun lawsuit

I'm not surprised by a settlement. Sumurun was disqualified in the protest and both appeals were denied, but it would have been interesting to read what a court would have made of the whole case.

Now we will never know.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Magnetic Protest Boat Kit | 2

The package from the RYA arrived today. Sealed in a bubble envelope it took 12 days to be delivered. The Sales Invoice is dated 29/08/08 and I ordered them on 28/08/08.
(Magnetic Protest Boat Kit)

The boats are very nice and well crafted with a good 'sail' attachment. Exactly as promised, 12 boats of which three blank and three sets of three colored sailboats, yellow, blue and red. Four marks and two arrows, all together in a sturdy plastic zip bag.

Made in China (where else). Total costs (including postage and VAT) £ 27.24
Fair dinkum, as the people down-under would say.

In lieu of our protest-competition announced yesterday,
TP52 Protest Writing Exercise, I have decided to donate this magnetic protest boat kit as the first prize.
The winner will receive the complete bag, send free of charge, by post.
So what are you waiting for, stop reading this blog, and start writing.

Entries must be send in by Email before 22 september 22:00 hours, preferbly in a word document, but pdf is fine too. Oh, please put your name in the filename, so I can keep track.


Monday, 8 September 2008

TP52 Protest Writing Exercise

In Scuttlebutt 2675 there was a link to a fairly unique set of photos. In the sequence seven boats were involved in at least three separate rules-issues at the weather mark:

click to enlarge

Photographer Ian Roman provided this aerial of the windward mark action and accidents from last week's TP52 Audi MedCup event in Carthagena, Spain (click on image to enlarge).

I thought this was a opportunity to good to miss and asked and received permission to use these photo's in a blogpost.

First of all> This is definitely not meant to second guess any protest or non protest in the actual event. I'm interested if we can use the limited but detailed information on these photos, to write a protest. For instance, look at the wakes on the water!

We will name the boats A trough G from top to bottom according to the standing in the LAST photo! I can devise at least three separate rules issues; between C and D, between E and F and between F and G.
So here's the challenge:
  1. Pick one pair (and one pair only);
  2. Write a set of facts found about what you think has happened - does NOT have to be what actually happened, but must be to the point without any unnecessary facts and no conclusions;
  3. Draw a conclusion and rules involved based on the facts found, as you have written;
  4. Write a decision
This is exactly ( but with a drawing instead of photo's) what is asked of you in an International Judges Test after a seminar. There you will have to do it for two separate situations.

Send in your entries before the dead-line, which is two weeks from today, ending at 22:00 hours Monday the 22nd of September 2008.
I will subsequently post the submissions together in boat pairs. We will vote for the best written protest for each pair, they earn a place in the final. In that finale you can vote for the best of those three.
Remember, picking the easy pair might get you through the first round, but then you will have to compete with the other two. You may only write one protest for each pair.

Get the RRS open, download the Protest Conclusions & Decisions.xls file and get cracking.

Good luck!


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.

Friday, 5 September 2008

'Justice stranded on the Beach'

- Think twice when you "reopen" a hearing -
by Adriaan Pels

This time we were on Barbados. The event was a world championship Mistral. The jury was busy with the last day hearings. As usual only a few protests, but protests which could influence the total score and the places on the podium.

Only one party came to the hearing

In one hearing the protestee did not show up. The chairman postponed the hearing and scheduled it at the bottom of the list and asked the protestor to do everything that he could to bring the other party to the jury room. But no success. At last the jury decided the protest after only hearing the protestor and decided to disqualify the protestee.

Later that day, during the dinner and prize giving party on the beach, with a lot of rum and coca cola and steel band music, the protestee accosted the jury chairman and told him why he was not present at the hearing. The chairman, always ready to help the sailors, decided he was unavoidably absent and sitting in the sand with one other jury member he ‘reopened’ the hearing. Or whatever you call it. Anyhow, the duo listened to the story of the protestee and decided now that he was in the right, no doubt. He should not be disqualified.

Score change

What to do in this situation? Call all jury members? Find the protestor? Look for a jury room? Too complicated and at the end the chairman, sure about what happened on the water and wanting to do justice, informed the result Johnny’s and the score was changed.

Next day, after breakfast, while he was waiting for transport to the airport, the eyes half open because of little sleep and much rum, the jury chairman was almost attacked by the protestor. After the man had seen the changed scoring list (he was not informed) and was told by somebody what happened, he was furious. "What you did is not allowed, I had the right to be present" ,and so on he said, not very friendly. Poor chairman, despite his good intentions, he made a big mistake by not to following the correct procedure.

Decision: back to the original score. But where were the result boys? Not there anymore, the event was over, flags down, offices closed. “I’ll write a letter”, were his last words, before he hit the taxi.....

Adriaan Pels.


This is the second guest post by Adriaan. His first one you can find here:
Leg counting or How many beats did you sail?

If you have a story you think is of interest and would like to share, please mail me and send it in.


Visited a German blog the other day, written by Felix Kling called Rule2blog.
Asking him about that name he answered in a short mail:

Why rule 2? With this blog I want to promote fair sailing and generally sailing according to the RRS. I myself sail in the Star class and am a German National Judge & Umpire.
I’m a good friend of Willii Gohl and maybe you know my father Mufti Kling. He’s International Judge and also national Umpire.

Mufti and I have translates the English booklet “Rules Companion” from Bryan Willis into German and sell them in the German area. We have also done the AC booklet for the Cup in Valencia. Maybe you know some of these books? We know your blog very well and read them regularly.

I basically write the blog to report about our experience in the Star and about the RRS and their news. But also to promote our books ;-)

Today on his blog is a new link to a Synopsis RRS 2005 – 2008 with RRS 2009 – 2012 Version 1 (07/08) written by Willii Gohl. He compares the new rules to the old side by side. Nice work!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Protests vs Prize Giving; LTW Readers Q&A | 8

A dilemma faced by many protest committees: The time it takes to do proper hearings and the scheduled prize giving. I received a readers question from Steven about this issue. He wrote me in an email:


Greetings from Barbados.

My name is Steven Kern, first president of the Grenada Sailing Association and National Judge for Grenada, residing now in Barbados and also member of the Barbados Sailing Association. The attached is a report to RC of a protest that occurred at Bequia Easter Regatta 2008.

The Race Committee (RC) were concerned that they were not called to the protest and more concerned that we conducted the protest which in doing so slightly delayed their last day’s prize giving ceremony.

Can you give us your thoughts on the need to call in RC as we had their report, i.e. no flag, and our decision to deem the protest valid on the word of protestor and a witness? Also input on writing facts found would be welcome.

Steven Kern

Bequia Easter Regatta 2008 Protest # 3 Padig vs Category 5

Protest within time limit – Yes

Protest valid – Yes

Protestor and witness acknowledged hail and flag at first reasonable opportunity. Protestor is bound by 61.1(a) and has an obligation to display the flag until she is no longer racing. There is no obligation on the Protestor to ensure that the R/C sees or acknowledges the flag at the finish. Protestor is “requested” to notify R/C of her intention to protest under SI 17.2 but this request is not an obligation or requirement. The jury is bound by 63.5 and the Protestor having met all the requirements, the protest is valid and the hearing shall be continued.

Notes: Jury found Protestor satisfied 61.1(a) and this was supported by a witness on the race course. This evidence was not disputed by the protestee. Jury having earlier called R/C received verbal report that R/C did not record the sighting of any protest flags at the finish of the race in question, and therefore Jury was well aware of R/C’s position.

Facts Found:

On the beat to the windward mark, Padig on port tack was sailing close hauled below the port lay line and was on a converging course with Category 5 on starboard tack.

At approximately 3 boat lengths to the mark, Category 5 on starboard tack, slightly above the starboard lay line, with boat speed of 7.5 knots, bore down to round the mark and became overlapped outside of Padig as the boats entered the 2 boat length zone.

Padig completed her tack onto starboard approximately 1/3 of a boat length clear ahead and a ¼ boat length to leeward of Category 5. Padig now close hauled with boat speed of 4 knots became overlapped inside of Category 5 as the boats entered the 2 boat length zone.

At 1 boat length to the mark Padig the slower boat now fully overlapped inside Category 5 began to luff to round the mark.

Category 5 responded to Padig’s luff and sailing faster broke the overlap and proceeded to bear away to set spinnaker for the next leg of the course.

No contact was made. Both boats rounded the mark and proceeded on the next leg of the course.

Conclusions and Rules that apply:

Category 5 outside overlapped boat at the zone continued to give Padig room to round the mark as obliged in Rule 18.2 (b). Padig having slowed through her luff and the cover from the overtaking boat, had to further luff above close hauled to round the mark.


Protest dismissed – No rules were broken and scoring as per R/C stands.


Who are the parties?

The RC is not a party to this hearing, only Padig and Category 5 are. Only parties have the right to be present throughout the hearing of all the evidence; RRS 63.2(a)

The RC can be a witness. But only if she is called to be so, by one of the parties or by the PC. If called as a witness by one of the parties, for instance by Category 5 to dispute the validity, then she must be heard; RRS 63.6 and M3.2 (fourth bullet). A party however is not obligated to call any witness. It is their decision.

The PC may also call a witness. In this case on validity, the obligations of the RC are dictated by RRS 63.5:

"At the beginning of the hearing the protest committee shall decide whether all requirements for the protest or request for redress have been met, after first taking any evidence it considers necessary."

There is no obligation to call any witness, the PC decides what it considers necessary to determine the validity. Since the fact that a protest flag was not recorded at the finish was already known, I see no need to repeat that in the hearing, save for the fact that parties might want to question the PC about that issue. But they are responsible themselves as well. Category 5 could have asked the PC as a witness to come to the hearing.

Incontrovertible Sailing Instructions?

Then there are the SI, specifically SI 17.2. I don't have the SI and can't read them on this point, but the PC did and they found that wording did not demand that the red flag was to been seen or acknowledged by the RC at the finish. If the RC want to make this a rule that must be adhered to, the wording in the SI should reflect that incontrovertible.

After the decision the RC could have filed a request for redress according to RRS 60.3(b) and then (as a party) try to convince the PC that they might have made an error interpreting SI 17.2.

Delay in the time of the prize giving is always a contended point between PC and RC. First of all the RC should allow the time after the last race to conduct one or two hearings in planning the prize giving ceremony. Protests are part of the regatta and not something bothersome to get rid off. They have a definite impact on standings, so should be part of the schedule.

Finish time of the last boat + protest time limit + 2 x 20 minutes for hearings = time to schedule prize giving. I can understand that the PC conduct the hearings, which have an impact on the prizes, first. After these have been decided, the prize giving can be held, with the PC continuing with other protests/boats.

The PC should make every effort to conduct the hearing in an efficient and timely manner. They can try to call the parties before end of protest time and do a hearing asap if everybody can attend. They don't have to wait, if all the evidence can be presented and witnesses heard.

For the sake of time the PC also may just give a decision and any penalties imposed. The other requirements of RRS 65.1, i.e. the facts found, the applicable rules and the reasons for it, can be done later. Promptly does not mean immediately.

Facts Found on validity should be included

I'm impressed by this PC because they have written down all the facts needed to come to a decision about validity. Something most PC forget to do. Especially when there's a contention about validity, it should always be part of the written protest. I would have put that part also in Facts Found and in the Decision, but that is just format.

The facts found about the actual incident are clear and precise enough to make a diagram. Only two minor points:

one: "....became overlapped .......as the boats entered the 2 boat length zone." is a little ambivalent. Either they were overlapped, or they were not.

two: "Padig having slowed through her luff and the cover from the overtaking boat, had to further luff above close hauled to round the mark."
This does not need to be put in the conclusion. You could add it in the facts, but rules-wise it has no impact. Once Padig completed her tack outside the zone and was r-o-w inside overlapped boat, she could go head-to-wind to round the mark if that was what was needed.

Luffing above close hauled is something you would use for a situation involving rule 18.3 and then only for the outside boat.... to indicate that the tacking inside boat broke that rule.

Different conclusion

I have more trouble with the conclusion. From the moment Padig completed her tack outside the two length zone she became right-of-way clear ahead boat. She fulfilled her obligations to keep clear while tacking under rule 13 and she gave room to Category 5 to keep clear, once she completed her tack, under rule 15.

She was thereafter r.o.w. boat. First under rule 12 and then rule 11. She was not only entitled to room, no, Category 5 had to keep clear during the whole rounding. Rule 18 only applies when that rule conflicts with the basic r-o-w rules and in this case it does not.

So I would have written in the conclusion:
Category 5 to windward kept clear of Padig to leeward during the mark rounding. (RRS 11) No rules broken.
It however does not make any difference in the decision, protest dismissed.

Thank you Steven, for bringing this protest to everybody's attention. I hope my observation are of use to you, but feel free to disagree. The comment button is just below.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Forumtalk about the RRS

In my continuing search for subjects I visit several forums. Sometimes just to read but also to comment and contribute in the discussions. There are several I visit regularly.

Sometimes a particular post brings a smile to my face and I copy & paste the piece to my notebook. Here are a couple I had saved. Mind, I did not write these, all credit goes to the original posters.
From the Sailing Anarchy Forum: by H I M:

Everyone knows it's a fundamental law of quantum nautical mathematics, that the length of "two boat lengths" is entirely fluid depending on many factors, including whether one is on the inside or the outside, whether one is attempting to gain, break, hold or hold off an overlap, the number of beers consumed and the size of the two skippers in the room. It has even been postulated that there are infinite parallel "circles" each of which represents the potential "zone" in the theoretical "brain" of the foredeck crew. The Paul's Exclusion principle, however, states that, if one size of circle is chosen by one of any foredeck crews and skippers involved, it is fundamentally impossible for this circle to be chosen by any of the others. Some people even believe that the two boat length zone is in fact a figment of the imagination, brought on by lack of rum.

But three boat lengths, like speed cameras, will make us all behave that much better!!

And from the Sailing Anarchy Forum: by CONDOR:

A story...

Around 40 years ago at a entry-level rules seminar, the instructor asked: If two boats are about to finish under spinnakers, and one lets the halyard go so the sail flies over the finish line before the other boat, has she finished?

A voice from the back of the room, "As long as someone on the boat yells, "Holy shit, the halyard!".

Have never forgotten the 'in normal position' since.
Just a couple sentences, to let you know there's interesting reading outside my blog......
Scuttlebutt Forum
Sailing Anarchy Forums
Yachts and Yachting Online Forum

Monday, 1 September 2008

iShares Cup Kiel Germany

Just before half way in the video you can see the crash between Holmatro and Team Origin.
It is at a leeward mark so rule 18 is applicable even though Holmatro is on starboard and Team Origin on port. Then Alinghi is there as well to windward. They had to keep clear of Holmatro...

We can't see the positions when they entered the two length zone, but the jury decided that Team Origin was to be scored average points for the remaining races.

The final event will be in Amsterdam on 19, 20 & 21 September. I'll be following the action at close quarters, chasing the Extreme 40's in an Umpire boat. I'll make notes so I can tell you about the calls afterwards.
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