Friday, 30 October 2009

Ladies Only 2009 Hamburg

Well, dear Sportsfans,

Your roving reporter was today present at the Ladies Only Match Race 2009 on the Alster in Hamburg. (As for the previous four years). A big difference in temperature with Florida last week, but with about the same wind speed and - more importantly - another group of 14! nice ladies teams from all over Europe. Visit the internetsite and look under Regatten, Alsterregatten, Ladies Only.

From "sportlichen" a successful day. Nine fligths with three matches each. We have two groups of seven boats in a round robin each, which sail in Streamlines with two in the trapeze, spinaker and very manoeuvrable. Fun to sail, but also nice to umpire. (And certainly a little faster then Sonars, sorry about that, Pat))

To satisfy your never ending hunger for rules-issues, your roving reporter has three questions for you to ponder:
1: When both boats sail to the wrong windward mark and round it, (we use a three coloured WW-mark system here) what should the RC do?

2: In the rounding the trailing boat touches that mark. What should the Umpires do?

3: Request for Redress; in the very first entry by the Blue-boat the keel (with a depth off 1.60 m) get's stuck on the line of the pinn-end mark. The boat passed the mark about 2.5 m to windward.
The mark gets pulled in and touches the boat. The boat is then for more then two minutes busy to get untangled. In that time she gets two penalties: One for touching the mark and one for not entering (and clearing the line). She subsequently looses the match - not by much but nevertheless. Should the IJ grant redress? And if so, on what grounds?

You can leave your answers in the comments - I hope the editor lets them trough.

More tomorrow,


  1. A1 I would do nothing. even if the RC put in a protest the PC should decide that it 'had no significant effect on the outcome' and let the result stand.

    A 2 The umpires should penalise the boat. They should assume that the competitors are rounding a mark as, until they can check their facts the umpires would not be certain as to who was correct. Also if a decision was made later as Answer 1 then if they had not penalised the boat there may ahve been a change in the result.

    A 3 No redress. Tough but a 2m extra lenghth on a buoy rope is not really an error of the RC. Best thing would be for the competitor to cut the buoy free and the RC would then have to postpone as the buoy would be out of position!

  2. Sorry, but I´m disagree with Anonymous...

    A1 - I think that the RC must protest both boats. It´s a decision of de PC (not RC) to let the result stand or to abandon the match.

    A2 - The umpires shouldn´t penalise the boat, because this buoy is not a mark.

    A3 - It´s evident that the buoy rope was very large and this has significantly worse the score of the boat; it´s a mistake of the RC. Redress.

  3. 1. I think both boats should be should be scored DNF and get half a point. Rounding the wrong mark might have no significant influence on the outcome of that match but I think giving someone the win is unfair on the other competitors in a round robin.

    2. Penalty

    3.No penalty for touching the mark. It was not behaving normally. I cannot remember the case, a mark was run over by a boat and suddenly bobbed up to touch a following boat. Grant redress. Resail. Make a note not to use polypropylene (floating) lines for marks.


  4. I believe Wag to be incorrect in his analysis.
    1. If neither boat sails the course and finishes within the time limit then the race has to be abandoned (Rule 35.) In a Match race this means the race will have to be resailed.
    To Gustav - there is no requirement for the RC to protest the boats for not sailing the course. They may if they so choose, but there is no requirement. Other boats are not affected by what happens in this race- only the two.
    Far better all round to accpet the race. The competitors are happy, the RC does not need to resail the race. The PC would (or at least should) allow the race to stand even if there is a protest as there is no significant affect on the outcome. C6.6(b) is written to allow a commonsense apprach and allow a competition to continue where rule breaches do not affect the outcome of the MATCH. the PC does not have to consider the outcome on the competition.
    Why waste time with a hearing.
    Match racing is not fleet racing and there is room in the appendix for a more pragmatic approach to incidents liek this so the competition can continue without delay.

  5. Bill McNaughton, Toronto2 November 2009 at 07:37

    (1) tough luck--The competitors know that there are multiple marks and must go to the correct one or they haven't sailed the course. We don't know whether the RC know as the boats "finish" that they haven't sailed the course and they get a gun. If the RC was informed they hadn't rounded the correct mark they should not get a gun and the RC should just sit on the boat and shut up. If there is a time limit for the race the RC should wait it out and then abandon the race. If there is no time limit and it is obvious they haven't twigged to the issue abandon the race. If the RC knew and fired finishing guns then they still haven't sailed the course and the on the water umpires whom I assume realized the error should protest and they are DSQ.
    Quaere: What would the committee do if boat #2 after crossing the "finish line" (gun or no gun) following a very "intense" discussion between the crew sailed back up the course, rounded the correct mark and then sailed the rest of the course? Penalize her for realizing she'd made a mistake and and outsmarting #1?
    (2) nothing as it is not a mark on the course
    (3)no redress-- all they can get is the thanks of the other competitors for showing them where the tackle is and how much room they need to give the mark.

    Enjoy your blog

  6. My humble point of view:

    1) Both boats finished according to the definition (crossed the finishing line in the ***direction*** -my emphasis- of the course from the last mark), therefore in my opinion both boats has to be lodged as having finished, and rule 35 doesn't kick in.
    Both boats broke rule 28.1. Their mistake didn't have an impact on the outcome of their match, but they may be protested, either by the RC (rule 60.3(a)) or by any other competitor (rule C6.1(b)) for breaking rule 28.1.
    If a valid protest is lodged, the PC will probably decide that the breach of rule 28.1 had no significant effect on the outcome of the match, and this is the easy part. The hard part is to decide whether or not to impose a penalty. I don't believe there is a clear guidance in the rule book, call book or case book, so, unless I am mistaken, any decision is going to make somebody unhappy. Personally I would give a quarter point penalty to the winner, to reflect the fact that her victory is somehow less than a "proper" one; matches are lost for much subtler mistakes.
    2) No rule broken, no penalty.
    3) The PC should discuss whether or not there has been some improper action by the RC. In my experience it is very uncommon to get stuck in the pin-end mark when passing 2.5 m to windward of it, so the PC should collect the available evidence to decide whether there was an improper action by the RC (too much slack on the line, and/or a floating line) or it was just bad handling or bad luck (a strange current, etc.)



  7. ad 1.
    This is not a situation either black or white. The RC may abandon the race (32.1(e)and restart, or finish (last mark ??)and protest (28.1). The PC may decide acc. C6.6 (b)(3).
    ad. 2.
    Penalty! It ist not the duty of the umpires to know which is the correct mark. And if the PC decides "no penalty", you will have now the problems and another protest.
    ad 3.
    in my opinion this is a mistake of the RC - (but I dont know the depth of the water and so on!!) no penalty and AP or N - this is fair to the sailors

    Wolfgang Hofmann

  8. Wolfgang
    while I agree it should be a penalty for hitting the mark there could not be any further protests as there is no redress from any action or non action by umpires.

  9. 1/ The RC or umpires (or competitor) may choose to protest. If they protest, it is up to PC to decide the outcome. I see no urge to abandon the race, since both boats sailed the same course.

    2/ No penalty. At the time the boat touched a buoy, umpire knows it is not a mark (per definition). What happens next is up to PC to decide at the hearing (if there is one).
    Consider this: it might only be a part of the duel and both boats are returning to the correct mark and rouund it afterwards.

    3/ Regarding the mark... if it is not obvious that there's an error by the RC (in letting 10m of anchor rope float around) I wouldn't push it. Tough luck. Some conditions require you to leave a few meters of "spare rope".
    It is unusual but who can tell, really.
    And the rest is according to the rules, penalties and all.

    If the crew cuts the rope and leaves the mark floating and the mark is not moving really, I see no need to abandon the race, if the starting line is according to the race course diagram. But this is a lot of "if"-s.

  10. Sorry, I misread q2. No penalty. Not a mark of the course.

    I think it is the umpire's duty to know which are the correct marks.


  11. This is a difficult call in some circumstances.

    If both sail the wrong course, and finish, with no penalties, then I would let the race stand by taking no action as PC and would not advise the RC to take any action.

    If one boat hits a buoy, not a mark on that leg it would be inappropriate to penalise them, but this would cause me to consider a hearing under rule 28. The decision would be on the effect it may have had on the match. The question would be do you protest one or both boats?

    If a boat has a penalty sometime in the race, what do you do about tacks and gybes? The boat never gets onto the downwind leg (not having rounded the mark) so its penalty will always be a gybe etc. When the boat rounds the wrong mark if it Gybes it will be taking a penalty, and if it does not go onto an upwind course (or has the spinnaker up) you should signal the penalty has not been taken.

    Certainly penalties had not been considered before and this again leads to a consideration of a protest being made.

    Mike Butterfield


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