Friday, 23 April 2010

Poll for Redress in Medal Race

One of my posts, Addendum Q changed in 2010 was published in Scuttlebutt. Since then several people have responded in the Scuttlebutt forum. In light of this I'm starting a poll.

You can vote on a simple question:
Should the Medal Race at the World Cup Events have the possibility for a Request for Redress - as written in the RRS - or not?
I'm leaving the poll up for a longer period. Say until we have a 1000 votes. That should give a clear picture.
As a judge I'm fairly neutral myself - although I'm leaning towards "Yes".

Please give me your answer in the poll at the top of the sidebar.


  1. Ronnie R McCracken IJ24 April 2010 at 08:24

    I was Jury Chairman and CHUMP when this wording was used in Melbourne in the first round of the 2010 World Sailing Cup last December. I expected during the briefing that there would be protests or comments from the coaches and competitors but to my surprise there were none. Talking to the same people after the race it was accepted as the next step forward.

  2. Are we trying to cater too much for the TV at the expense of a fair sailing contest? What do they think their viewers can't add the points from previous races based on position. Many televised sports have much more complicated rules , scoring and officiating than sailing but still get an audience. Many use a cumlative score like adding several scores in skiing, bobsled, Decathalon, ect. Even figure skating adds the short and long program. So lets not throw out the regatta racing score. A well produced televised sporting event explains the sport and educates the audience to make it interesting. A few years ago most Americans never heard of curling but over the past two winter olympics coverage expanded and it gained a large following. The same can be done with sailing. Modern TV production allows commentators to use graphics and even draw on the screen to explain to the viewers what is happening.

    Simplified rules with judges on the water for finals is a good idea. Eliminating redress is not a good idea. Most TV coverage is taped and edited. Speeding up the redress hearing process so they can put the final results up before air time is all that is needed.

  3. We need to make it clear to sailors and to 'sailing marketers' at ISAF and elsewhere that although the 'medal race' format may make the sport better for TV, it does NOT make the game 'better'. It makes the game worse.

    Sailing does NOT take place on a level field, with boundaries and goals marked out with set-square and tape-measure, in equal halves so that each party gets equal benefit of the weather.

    Sailing depends on wind and water, which have random effects. There may be irregularities of course, start, and finishing line setting. Unlike other sports where wind may be a peripheral factor, in sailing, wind, with its randomly flucuating strength and direction is the primary factor.

    For these reasons, sailing, over the years evolved a format, with about seven races and one discard, that took care of the random factors affecting competition and produced results widely agreed to be as fair as possible.

    We need to encourage sailors to stick to the standard Appendix A format as much as possible, as a tried and true fair format.

    One other adverse effect of the 'medal race' format is that, because it does not allow for random chance, it encourages people to make ever increasingly unrealistic demands on race committees for 'perfect' start lines and 'perfect' windward legs: we have race committees abandoning races with a 10 degree windshift, and being redressed if they do not. This is unreasonable for most race committees, and just plain silly.

    Stick to the standard scorign system as much as possible, and encourage others to do so.

  4. Jeff Jones,

    I think that the standard Appendix A 'seven races with one drop' or similar formulas is the fairest way to take account of random chance in sailboat races. It gives the best 'game' for the competitors.

    I absolutely agree with you that the ordinary rules are not difficult to understand. I firmly believe that the difficulties are exaggerated by media executives, who, for whatever reasons seem to prefer dumbed down, crash and burn events. I would suggest that there is little or no actual audience research to support this contention: it's what suits the convenience and prejudices of the media managers.

    If ISAF or any other regatta organiser find it necessary to dumb down the game to secure sponsorship money or media exposure, then they should balance up the advantages of getting the money or publicity against the disadvantages of spoiling the game for the participants.

    We should fight against 'early adopters' using 'no drops' and Appendix Q systems for ordinary racing when not forced to do so by media agreements.

    Here's a really vitriolic critique of Appendix Q


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