Sunday, 22 February 2009

Bad Manners at the Royal Snooty Nose; Simple Rule 69 Bad Manners Problem.

A guest post by Brass.


Rule 69 has recently been debated quite hotly elsewhere on the web. There are a number of issues raised that should be of interest to judges. We might all unexpectedly become involved in a rule 69 situation at short notice. Here’s an opportunity to think about how we should deal with a simple situation.


You are the chair of the PC for the annual Snooty Nose Cup regatta, run over three days at the Royal Snooty Nose Yacht Club (RSNYC).

E-mail from the Commodore

On the second day of the regatta you receive the following email from the Commodore of the RSNYC:

Dear Protest Committee Chair,

After racing last night Brass Spiderman, who is a competitor in the Snooty Nose Cup regatta, and who had been drinking heavily in the bar of the RSNYC and was quite drunk made unwelcome sexual advances to my wife on the dance floor. He embraced her tightly. He said ‘come to bed with me’. He patted her bottom, then went back to the bar. About twenty minutes later he made the same advances to my seventeen year old daughter.

He then fell down the stairs and wrestled with the RSNYC doorman. The police arrived and he was hauled off in a police van singing ‘All International Judges are bastards’ at the top of his voice.

I am outraged as this gross breach of good manners and abuse of the hospitality of the RSNYC. The matter has been considered by the RSNYC House Committee which has decided that Brass Spiderman will not be admitted to the RSNYC Clubhouse and recommended that action be taken to ensure that he does not attend any venues or event of the RSNYC from this time onwards.

I attach written statements from Billy Beer the barman and Danny Door the doorman.

I request that the PC takes strong action against Brass Spiderman so as to immediately exclude him from further participation in the Snooty Nose Cup regatta.


I was the barman on duty at the RSNYC last night. About 6:00pm a man came up to me at the bar. He said ‘Hullo, I’m Brass Spiderman, and I’m competing in the Snooty Nose Cup regatta. May I have a beer please?’

I served him a beer.

Between 6:00pm and 10:30pm I served him beer and other drinks. About 10:40pm I saw Brass Spiderman take the Commodore’s wife onto the dance floor. I saw him embrace her tightly. As they danced past the bar hatch I heard him speak to her. He said ‘Come to bed with me.’ I saw him pat her on the bottom.

About 11:00pm I saw Brass Spiderman take the Commodore’s daughter onto the dance floor. I saw him embrace her tightly. As they danced past the bar hatch I heard him speak to her.

He said ‘You’re better looking than your mother, Come to bed with me.’ I saw him pat her on the bottom. I saw the Commodore come up to him and speak to him. I saw him walk towards the stairs then fall down the stairs.

I am prepared to give this evidence under oath should I be required.


I was on duty as the doorman at the RSNYC last night.

About 11:05pm I saw a man fall down the club stairs from the bar and dancefloor into the lobby, apparently drunk. I called the police and asked them to attend and remove the drunk. I saw the man stagger to his feed.

He said ‘I’m Brass Spiderman and I hate International Judges’.

He then fell towards me, grasped me with his arms and dragged me to the floor. I wrestled to get away from him. The police arrived and took him away in a van. As they drove away I heard him singing ‘All International Judges are bastards’.

I am prepared to give this evidence under oath should I be required.

The Protest Committee

The PC consists of four members, one of whom is the son of the Commodore of the RSNYC.

You show the email and statements to the other members of the PC. One of the PC members, who is not the son of the Commodore says ‘I was in the RSNYC clubhouse last night about 11:00pm, sipping camomile tea and reading the ISAF Judges Manual, and I heard shouting and singing and looking up I saw the competitor Brass Spiderman falling down the stairs’.

You read carefully the RYA Guidance on Rule 69, or any material you have from your MNA or elsewhere. You recall that you have seen a helpful posting about What We Need to Prove on the Look to Windward Blog.

Question 1: What do you do next?

Question 2: Supposing the PC has decided to call a rule 69 hearing:

  1. Analyze the allegations and rule 69.1 and list what will need to be proved if the PC is to penalize Brass Spiderman.
  2. Draft the written information that the PC is required to give to Brass Spiderman under rule 69.1(a).


Just last week I received an Email from Jon Napier drawing my attention to a new paper from the RYA's Fair Sailing Team. You will have no time reading this when an actual case of misconduct presents itself, so I suggest you do it sometime before. Perhaps it will also help you answer this case?

Here is the link: RYA Misconduct Guidance.pdf

Most judges will - fortunately - seldom have to be involved in a Rule 69, but because of the serious and far reaching consequences it can have, some preparation would not be amiss.



  1. Great post, does the Watersportverbond (MNA of The Netherlands) also have these kinds of documents?

  2. If they have, they are keeping it in a drawer. I've only ever seen a presentation on the subject at a Benelux Seminar, a couple of years back...


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