Friday, 17 April 2009

Fact Finding Friday | 008 QQ v RR v SS

Quebec Quadruped v Rangoon Reptile
Rangoon Reptile v Quebec Quadruped
Rangoon Reptile v Santiago Seafood

The aim of this series is to practice judges' skills in writing Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules Applicable, and Decisions as required by rule 65.1. These are not intended to be 'difficult' rules problems: concentrate on the writing skills. You are not expected to 'discuss' the rules or the scenarios, or enter into 'what-if' considerations. I suggest you write against the clock, and include a note of your time taken when you post your answers on LTW, to compare with others.

Hearing and Evidence
You are the scribe for the protest committee of the LTW Yacht Club, which races in Port Liberty Roads. You have received written protests with the details shown below. You have decided the protests are valid and have heard all parties and witnesses.

Description of Incident – Protest Quebec Quadruped v Rangoon Rattlesnake

Description of Incident – Protest Rangoon Rattlesnake v Quebec Quadruped and Rangoon Rattlesnake v Santiago Seafood

You have listed Facts Found and the protest committee members have agreed to endorse the attached diagram.
[Brass send me the file yesterday, but I dind't find time to go over it. The diagram was missing from the file. As soon as I receive it, I'll add it to this post; 18/04/09 07:43 now added]

Facts Found:
  1. Sea, slight, Wind 8 to 13 knots. Boats are all 8 meter keel-boats.
  2. Quebec Quadruped is the first boat, of Santiago Seafood, Rangoon Rattlesnake and Quebec Quadruped to reach the zone of the Port side gate mark, with all on Port, overlapped with Quebec Quadruped to windward of Rangoon Rattlesnake, and Rangoon Rattlesnake to windward of Santiago Seafood.
  3. Quebec Quadruped sails outside the Port Gate mark, gybes to starboard, leaves the mark to starboard, then changes course to starboard, towards the wind.
  4. Rangoon Rattlesnake and Santiago Seafood also sail to the same mark but leave it to port.
  5. Santiago Seafood changes course to port towards the wind, expecting Rangoon Rattlesnake to do likewise to come to her proper course at the mark.
  6. About the same time, Rangoon Rattlesnake bears away and gybes, attempting to keep clear of Quebec Quadruped.
  7. Santiago Seafood then gybes in an attempt to keep clear of Rangoon Rattlesnake.
  8. There is contact between Rangoon Rattlesnake and Santiago Seafood and between Quebec Quadruped and Rangoon Rattlesnake. There is no damage or injury.
  9. No boat did any turns, but during the hearing Quebec Quadruped retires because she says she thought she was rounding the Starboard Gate mark, and acknowledges that she did not sail the course as required by rule 28.1
Write Conclusions and Rules Applicable, and the Decision for these protests. This is a more complex problem. Work methodically, don't rush it.
Please post your effort on LTW, for us all to share and learn. Don't be shy.

20/04/09; 12:25
I've attached the diagram John G made, before I added the endorsed diagram of the PC, so you can compare them:


  1. I haven't seen the diagram endorsed by the protest committee, so this answer is based on only the written findings.


    1. SS as windward boat, failed to keep clear of RR to leeward: SS broke rule 11.
    2. SS as the overlapped outside boat, failed to give RR room to pass between her and an obstruction, namely QQ. SS broke rule 19.2(b).
    3. When RR acquired right of way over SS, when RR gybed, she failed to initially give SS room to keep clear. RR broke rule 15.
    4. RR's breach of rule 15 had compelled SS to breach rules 11 and 19.2(b) (conclusions 1 & 2 above), and therefore SS is exonerated from breaching those ruless, pursuant to rule 64.1(c).
    5. RR as windward boat, failed to keep clear of QQ to leeward: RR broke rule 11.
    6. QQ as the right of way boat, changed course into the path of RR, without giving RR room to keep clear. QQ broke rule 16.1.
    7. RR's breach of rule 16.1 had compelled SS to breach rules 15 and 11 (conclusions 3 & 5 above), and therefore RR is exonerated from breaching those ruless, pursuant to rule 64.1(c).
    8. It was not reasonably possible for RR and SS to avoid contact.
    9. It was reasonably possible for QQ to avoid contact, and QQ broke rule 14. However she is not liable to a penalty under rule 14 as there was no damage or injury.
    10. SS gave RR and QQ mark room: RR gave QQ mark room.
    11. QQ failed to leave the leeward mark on the required side, and thereby breached rule 28.1.
    12. QQ having retired after finishing, is not liable to any further penalty.

    Rules applicable:

    11, 14, 15, 16.1, 18.2(b), 19.2(b), 28.1, 64.1(c)


    QQ shall be scored RAF.

    Time taken: 1 hr 10 mins.

  2. I should have added as part of the decision:

    The protests against RR and SS are dismissed.

    Add a couple of further minutes to my time.

  3. QQvRRvSS Diagram legendQuebec Quadruped GREEN
    Rangoon Rattlesnake YELLOW
    Santiago Seafood BLUE

  4. John G,

    Did you diagram the incident from the Facts Found?

    If so, could you please e-mail your diagram to Jos for him to post it, so we can compare it with the original?

    Always interesting to see how words -> diagram compares with diagram -> words.

  5. QQvRRvSS John G's Diagram and solution
    Thanks for the diagram.

    Looks like your diagram missed out on Fact 5: SS changed course towards RR and QQ.

    I think your solution did a very good job of sorting out this somewhat tangled problem.

    What do you think of the idea that, at that time SS failed to give RR room to pass between SS and the obstruction QQ, _before_ RR was changing course so close as to not give SS room, so SS does not deserve exoneration for breaking rule 19.2?

    In your Conclusion 7 you seem to have slipped a cog with boat names. Don't you mean '_QQ_'s breach of rule 16.1 compelled _RR_ to break rules 15 and 11'? Once we recognise that the protest is a 'tangled' one, we need to edit, check and double-check, to be sure we have it right.

    I don't think QQ broke rule 28.1. A boat does not break rule 28.1 until she finished (Case 112)

  6. QQ v RR etc

    QQ ceased to be entitled to mark room from RR and SS when she failed to sail a proper course at the mark, she held her keep clear status under rule 11.
    When QQ gybed and acquired right of way under rule 10 she failed initially to give RR or SS room to keep clear in breach of Rule 15.
    When QQ altered course further she failed to give RR and SS room to keep clear under rule 16.1.
    RR made contact with QQ and gybed without giving SS initially room to keep clear when she acquired right of way over her. This was in breach of rules 11 and 15 but she is exonerated under 64.1.c as she was compelled by QQ’s breach to break these rules.
    SS failed to keep clear of RR (rule 11) and give her room (rule 19.2.b) and is exonerated as above.
    RR and SS could not reasonably avoid contact, QQ could and broke rule 14 but as she was a right of way boat and there was no damage or injury cannot be penalised.
    QQ took a penalty which was to retire and cannot be penalised further.
    QQ to retain her score of RAF.
    Time- a lot!

  7. Mike B
    You say QQ ceases to be entitled to mark room because she failed to sail a proper course.
    But 18.2(c) gives only two reasons as to why a boat stops having to give mark room - Either boat passing head to wind or the boat entitled to room leaves the zone.
    To me QQ is entitled to room as neither of these situations are met

  8. Agree with Anon, QQ remains entitled to her mark-room until passing head to wind or leaving the zone.

    No boat fails to give her the mark-room to which she is entitled so no boat breaks rule 18, and rule 18 does not warrant a mention in teh answer.

  9. You are not entitled to mark room till you leave the zone. You are entitled to it when you need it to sail to the mark and a proper course at the mark. Otherwise the new rule gives you mark room longer than the old one to 3 lengths beyond the mark. Consensus seems to be this rule switches off before the old one did.

    Mike B


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