Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Addendum Q changed in 2010

Just recently Addendum Q has been changed.

For those of you who have never come accross this part of the rules: This is a special addendum that regulates the MEDAL races at World Cup and other Grade 1 events. First used in Miami and then subsequently in all World Cup Events

ISAF has published a new version in the website: Addendum Q February 2010 Update

What are the changes?
There is no difference in a voluntary or imposed penalties anymore. That means that most sailors will now just wait for an umpire decision before responding to a red flag.

The biggest change however, is that there's practically no redress for anything anymore. This was something that was asked by the "policy" makers at ISAF. "Imposed from above" was how my DT put it. The only exception is redress for rule 1.1.
Addendum Q has been cleaned up for that purpose

That means that if someone breaking a rule in part 2, damages your boat and that makes you lose speed or even makes you leave the racecourse - there's no redress possible! I'm afraid that has been sacrificed on the almighty altar of television.

The thinking in this is, that ideally the one sailing across the line first, should win first price. But that would mean starting with a new score in the Medal Race. Everybody has a chance. Forgetting the previous eight or ten races. A lot of drama, a lot of tension and very good television.

But, at this moment, this is even for ISAF one step to far. Looking at the 'trend' in the last decade, I think we will get there soon.


  1. Interesting prediction. I hope you will participate in our group writing project about the future of sailing and let us know what changes you think there will be in the Rulse over the next 25 years.


  2. "That means that if someone breaking a rule in part 2, damages your boat and that makes you lose speed or even makes you leave the racecourse - there's no redress possible!"

    1. Surely the appropriate penalty in this case would be to retire!
    2. I suspect that if a boat from one of the big spending (on TV rights) got eliminated by being rammed then i) the case would end up in the court of arbitration; ii) the rules would very quickly be changed to allow redress (am I being cynical)

    I cannot see any advantage in allowing the medal to develop into a boat breaking dodgem race.


  3. The Medal Race was a start but only a start.

    If ISAF (and IOC) are serious about having the spectators understand what is going on - and having the Medal Race really count for everything they could/should use the regatta as the qualifying series for entry into the Medal race (i.e. Final) and reset the scores to ZERO before the Medal Race so anyone can win. That is the way they do it in the track and field events.

    An alternative, to recognize achievement in the regatta, would be to carry forward the position (not the score) in the regatta to the Medal Race so the winner of the regatta has a modest advantage.

    In either case abandon the double points nonsense becuase it is merely confusing.

  4. Jos,

    Consider what happens if a "owner" enters more than one boat. One could clearly be designated to "win" the metal race while the others are designated as "attack" boats and are tasked to simply "take out" the competition. I would hate to see this develop, but it did happen in the American NASCAR racing circuit until the leadership put a stop to it because race drivers were being killed in crashes.

    Whenever you build a set of rules that allows there to be little or no penalty for an intentional or semi-intentional crash, aggressive competitors will use those rules to win as a team. The "official" team entrants are easy to spot. What is much more difficult are the "un-official" teams that are formed by one competitor agreeing to take out the competition this time if the other will take out the competition later.

    Just food for thought, as I don't think ISAF has really thought this through the way Formula One and NASCAR have, now that they've learned the hard way.




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