I am a frequent reader of your RRS blog from Hong Kong. Yesterday, we held a friendly regatta with 4 races and a conflict arose in scoring as the race committee's intention differed from the Sailing Instruction. We are all amateur sailors and we hope you may give us some advise.
The intention of the race committee is to use the total scores from all 4 races to rank the competitors. Unfortunately, race committee made a mistake in writing the Sailing Instruction as the SI stated that low point system of Appendix A (RRS 2009-2012) will be used. Appendix A2 states that each boat's series score shall be the total of her race scores excluding her worst scorer, i.e. with 1 discard.
Prize giving was done on the same day right after the regatta and no one has requested for redress (RRS 62.1a) on this issue within the protest time limit (RRS 62.2)
This question was raised the next day and we are not sure whether the race committee shall re-calculate the score based on Appendix A2 or the score that have been worked out shall remain unchanged.
According to RRS 63.7, (the committee shall apply the rule that it believes will provide the fairest result for all boats affected), the race committee believes using scores of all 4 races is fairest to the competitors.
I hope you may shed us some light before we have a heated debate.
I understand the dilemma, but in my opinion there’s actually only one solution. According to the RRS 85, the RC shall be governed by the rules in the conduct of the races.
That means that you will have to follow the SI and recalculate the result with one discard. I would suggest the RC does this regardless if there’s a request for redress or not. If this means that the prizes have to be re-awarded to others, so be it. The contract everybody agreed on to sail under i.e. the Sailing Instructions, state that A2 is applicable.
Rule 63.7 is only applicable if there’s a conflict between the NOR and the SI and only if that conflict has to be resolved before a request for redress can be decided. Did the NOR state that there would be no discard?
Intentions – however well regarded or perceived – are not rules. And if a RC would base decisions – which are dictated by a rule - on intentions, there is no end in sight.
I would regard this as a valuable lesson for the future. The person or persons writing the SI, will never make this mistake again. But to leave the results as is would be far worse. Then sailors would need to ask the RC about their ‘intentions’ before trusting was was written in the SI……
I hope this is of some use to you,
Google produced this under Hong Kong Sailing: (note the date!)
Boats sail across Victoria Harbour during a regatta in Hong Kong, 12 May 2007