By Brass from “The Room”
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 a written protest, decided it is valid, and have heard both parties and witnesses.
You have listed Facts Found and the protest committee members have agreed to endorse the attached diagram.
Orange: Ankara Absinthe;
- Vilnius Vodka and Washington Whiskey were sailing on a downwind leg on starboard tack.
- Vilnius Vodka became overlapped to windward of Washington Whiskey from clear astern and Washington Whiskey luffed to defend her position. Vilnius Vodka responded, with the result that both boats were sailing well above what would be their proper course to the next mark.
- Vilnius Vodka's course was converging on Ankara Absinthe, which was sailing lower and slower.
- Vilnius Vodka became overlapped on Ankara Absinthe from clear astern within two boat lengths.
- Washington Whiskey did not come within two boat lengths of Ankara Absinthe until after position 3 in the diagram.
- Ankara Absinthe changed course to windward to keep clear of Vilnius Vodka.
- Ankara Absinthe protested Vilnius Vodka and Washington Whiskey for sailing above their proper course under rule 17, with timely flag and hail.
Protest Committee's Assessment of the Evidence
Your fellow protest committee members agree that Vilnius Vodka and Washington Whiskey, throughout, are sailing above a course that would enable them to reach the next mark as soon as possible in the absence of other boats, but that Vilnius Vodka did not sail higher than was necessary to keep clear of Washington Whiskey.
Write Conclusions and Rules Applicable, and the Decision for this protest. Please post your effort on LTW, for us all to share and learn. Don't be shy.