Friday, 10 July 2009

Berlin Woman MR 2009

I'm at the "Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee" in Berlin. Here to Umpire in Match Racing - what else!
15 teams of three woman sail in Laser SB3, a fast and agile boat with gennaker.
We had good wind today - sometimes interrupted by heavy rain - and did 13 flights of three matches. We'll have diner in half an hour, just enough time to write a short post.

Today we did two red flag protest- well actually requests for redress. The second one was the most interesting. One of the boats was almost overrun by a passenger-ferry and had to tack with her gennaker still up. Result: a tear in the sailcloth and a lost match.
The passenger-ferry's run diagonal over the lake, are about 50 meter long and very fast. I guess 10 knots or so. There's one who's "infamous" for his inconsiderate behaviour. He does not want to stop, he does not want to deviate from his course one iota. He's bigger, he has right of way and to hell with everybody else...

Anyway, back to our request for redress. The boat claimed she was forced to tack. Let us take that as a fact.

She displayed an Yankee flag and she put up a red flag.
What should the umpires answer and what can the Jury do?

Please leave your answer in the comments including the reason why. I know it's not the same as Fact Finding Friday but at least you get something to think about....


  1. Is there such a big lake in Berlin?

  2. Sorry, preamble part 2 - 2nd section!!!
    A sailing course is not a closed area, the government rules apply and a ferry is a ROW-boat. No redress.
    Under bad circumstances the jury may penalize the girls due to government rules.
    Yes, this is not "fair sailing", but at lakes like Wannsee you have to expect ferries.



  3. What should the Umpires do?

    Green Flag: there is no boat to penalise: Green Flag means No Penalty (rule C5.1)

    What can the Jury do?

    The Jury can and must hear the request for redress, which the only thing the red flag can possibly mean (rule C6.3, rule 63.1).

    I think W Hoffmann contradicts himself. If, in particular waters you have to expect ferriees (or other commercial traffic) with right of way, it is perfectly 'fair sailing' to expect competitors to obey the government right of way rules, and manoeuvre to keep clear witout damaging their own boats.

    Key issue is that to gain redress under rule 62.1(b) redress for physical damage, the first condition is that damage must be because of the action of a vessel not racing that was
    required to keep clear. If the ferry had right of way, as Jos said, there is no redress. Only if the ferry was the requried to keep clear under IRPCAS, do we get to the next stage of considering whether the worsening of the boats score was through no fault of her own.

    Some competitors might seek redress under rule 63.1(a), claiming that it was improper for the race committee to fail to prevent competitors coming into close quarters with large, fast, scheduled, commercial vessels. I would be very unsympathetic to this:

    1. sharing the water with others, including commercial vessels is just a normal part of racing.

    2. In any case the competitor should have manoeuvered sooner, so as to avoid rush, and have been more careful to avoid damage to equipment, so cannot claim 'through no fault of her own'.

    No redress on this grounds either.


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