Thursday, 26 February 2009

Bad Manners at the Royal Snooty Nose | 2

I received an answer to the RRS69- case against Brass Spiderman from Mike. He send me the following:

To prove:

  1. Was a competitor
  2. Was during the event
  3. Had committed an actionable breach. Rule, Good Manners or Sportsmanship, or sport into disrepute.
  4. Protest committee of 3
  5. Correct information to competitor
  6. Time given for preparation
  7. Notification given of time and place of hearing.


Dear Brass Spiderman,


I am writing to inform you that the Protest Committee of this event has received a report under rule 69.1 alleging that you have committed Gross Misconduct under the Racing Rules of Sailing.

The report alleges that you made improper sexual advances to the Commodores’s wife and daughter, followed by an assault on the Club’s doorman, and made remarks concerning international judges.

The Protest Committee has decided to conduct a hearing under rule 69.1 to determine if these allegations are true, and if so, to decide what action to take.

You are required to attend a hearing on [date] at [time] in [location].

You may bring someone to represent you at the hearing. You are also entitled to call our own witnesses, but it is your responsibility to ensure that the witnesses are present at the time of the hearing.

If you have any questions concerning the hearing or any other aspect of the rule 69 process, please ask the chairman.



For the actions stated, I would not have considered a hearing unless repeated. The actions in the bar are regrettable, and can be dealt with by the house committee.

The struggle was not vindictive, and the comments on the Jury were generic rather than directed to the event jury or individuals.

If there was to be a hearing then the interested party (relative) should be excluded, this still leaves 3 and the committee member who was a witness could remain.

If my view was in the minority (and it must have been if there was a hearing) then, a suitable result would be:

  • A voluntary apology (which would not need to be reported)
  • At worst a warning
  • I believe the finding could have been a gross breach of good manners, but not bringing the sport into disrepute.

This does not comply with what the House committee recommended but the protest committee should not be influenced by this. With respect to future events their club can adopt RRS 76 to exclude and they could be advised of this.

Mike B


  1. Firstly, thanks Mike for a terrific thorough response. There might be a few things we disagree on, or maybe I can convince you.

    This disgraceful Brass Spiderman, whoever he may be should be punished to the full extent of the law!

    I disagree with Mike's likely decision

    In my humble opinion the purpose of the 'good manners' element of rule 69 is to provide a way of getting rid of a competitor who behaves so badly that the host club doesn't want him around. It is to save a host club from being in a situation whereby, in hosting a regatta, they are compelled to accept an offensive person who they would not otherwise permit to remain a member.

    Unlike the sportsmanship element, which seeks some sort of sailing-wide standard of sportsmanship, so that exaggerated 'gentlemanly' standards are not expected, and the host club is expected to accept sailing-wide standards, I believe that the 'good manners' element must take account of local mores: if you make a drunken fool of yourself at a 'Royal' club then you can't excuse yourself by saying that that sort of behaviour is quite OK at the Upper Kumbucta Sportboat Club where you come from.

    The function of the 'good manners' element, I would suggest, is more to get rid of an offensive competitor from a venue, rather than to punish a competitor to deter future behaviour.

    Before reaching a conclusion, I would want to hear evidence about what the standards of good manners were at the RSNYC, and the punishments imposed for similar breaches.

    I absolutely disagree that the PC should have decided on no hearing: that would be a bad breach of faith with the OA, on what was a public incident.

    There were repeated sexual advances incidents in the scenario. The sexual advances incidents were technically assault, possibly sexual assault, but my main concern is protecting the host club.

    I think the appropriate response is exclusion from the event, with a recommendation to the MNA that no further action should be taken.

    What do people think?

    I'll provide some more, hopefully constructinve, detailed comments on the elements to be proved, and the wording of the notice later.

  2. "Good manners" is a concept to be handled with care. What Brass considers as "possibly sexual assault" would be considered as astandard courtship ritual in another context(for instance at a student team racing event where I will be umpiring next week). To be controversial, there are places where it would be considered inappropriate that a 17 year old was in a bar so late in the evening!

    That said, the club has made an issue of this affair. In which case, to send a message to the rude competitor and other competitors, a hearing would be advisable, and, if no aggravating circumstances are presented (repeat offender, for instance) then a written warning (posted on notice board if need be), together with an appropriate apology (flowers) to the ladies involved, would seem appropriate.


  3. 'if you make a drunken fool of yourself at a 'Royal' club then you can't excuse yourself by saying that that sort of behaviour is quite OK at the Upper Kumbucta Sportboat Club where you come from'

    Members of Royal Clubs have been known to suck the occasional wine gum.



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