From “The Room” by Brass
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 as shown.
Description of Incident
The description of the incident from the protest form is as shown. Wind conditions were about 10kts. Sea conditions smooth.
SI indicate gate is between Committee Vessel and a mark of the course.
On the first lap we sailed between the Committee Vessel and the Finish Mark.
At the end of the second lap we finished correctly between the Committee Vessel and the Finish Mark.
We were scored DNF.
There was another additional laid mark in the vicinity of the Gate/Finish Line as shown in the diagram.
Anemone's Description of the Incident
As described in the protest form Anemone completed the course, passing through the gate as required at the end of the first lap and at the finish at the end of the second lap.
Anemone left the Laid Mark at the outer end of the Gate on the required side.
Race Officer's Description of the Incident
The Sailing Instructions say:
The Start Line, Finishing Line and Gate shall be between the flag mast displaying the Club Committee Flag on the Committee Vessel and the Laid Mark in the vicinity of Point Liberty.
Laid Marks shall be white inflatable cylinders with the sponsor's logo.
Two separate observation team on the Committee Vessel, whose duties were to observe and record boats passing through the gate at the end of the first lap, observed that Anemone passed outside the outer Laid Mark of the gate at the end of the first lap.
At the time when other boats were completing the second lap to finish, Anemone passed through the Finish Line/Gate. The Committee Vessel observation teams recorded this as Anemone passing through the gate for the first time and also recorded the time that Anemone passed through the Gate.
I have here the record sheets for these observations if the protest committee wishes to verify this.
The Committee Vessel remained on station until the time limit expired and Anemone did not pass through the gate a second time to finish.
Accordingly Anemone was scored DNF as required by rule A5 and ISAF Q&A 2009-026.
Protest Committee Questions to the Race Officer
Q. Please describe all racing marks in the vicinity of the Committee Vessel?
A. There were three racing marks in the vicinity of the Committee Vessel as follows:
- A permanent racing mark, a yellow spar buoy;
- The Laid Mark, a white inflatable cylinder with the sponsor's logo; and
- A racing mark laid by another club, a yellow and black inflatable mark.
Protest Committee Questions to Anemone
Q. Describe the 'Finish Mark' that you say you correctly passed at the end of the first lap?
A. It was yellow with a sponsor's logo.
Q. Please describe the 'Additional Mark' you have shown on your diagram?A. It was a white inflatable cylinder.
Anemone Summing Up
Anemone sailed the course correctly and finished in accordance with the definition of finish. Anemone should be scored with her finishing time.
Race Officer's Summing Up
Anemone sailed through the Gate only once and thereafter did not finish within the time limit.
Protest Committee's Assessment of the Evidence
Your fellow protest committee members agree that there is no inconsistency between the evidence of Anemone and the Race Officer.
Write Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules Applicable and the Decision for this request for redress.
Please post your effort on LTW, for us all to share and learn. Don't be shy.