Saturday, 19 June 2010

Kiel 1 – Re-sail?

Ok, a short one then.

All umpires have or will have a moment when their rubberboot is in a wrong place at a wrong time. Be it because of their own inadequacies or because a match race boat makes an unexpected manoeuvre, sometimes their will be contact. The rules state that in such a case their is no redress – sailors cannot ask for that, only umpires can initiate a hearing and the PC may then grant redress.

Nevertheless, sailors will let you know that you were in their way. Sometimes by hoisting a red flag. Most Jury will then investigate, actually the will have to.

We had such a case – a boat stopping contact approximately two minutes before the start. After considering all the facts we decided that it did not have significant influence on the outcome of the match and redress was denied.

In the debrief our chief umpire suggested the following policy. Has there been contact and was that followed by a red flag by one of the sailors, ask the RC for an restart.

A pragmatic solution – for sure, one not directly in the rules, but quick, no hassle and ultimately more productive.

We discussed it again at a late diner before returning to our night lodgings. I wonder what you make of this solution. Considering all the implications, do you agree and would you follow or do you disagree and stick to the strict rules?




  1. Sure it's OK 3-4 minutes out. But 1 minute out? 30 seconds? Where is the line and when does restarting become unfair to the other boat?

    Rule is there for a reason. If you don't like it, change it, don't ignore it.

  2. If I was driving an umpire boat that seriously interferred with a boat racing and I believed that it had or would affect the match then I would always ask the RC to abandon the race and restart it. It is a complete waste of time to run a race and than have to give redress and resail the race.

  3. I too have been there. It makes you feel more foolish than usual. In my case, a redress hearing was held on the water and a resail granted. The result did not change. There is a lot to be said for quick hearings on the water.

    Automatic resail is all well and good until it happens when a team is clearly winning any way.


  4. I would follow any chief umpire as I am not in consideration for such a post.

    If I were in this position I would not issue such guidance myself.

    If we lift the wrong flag there is nothing we can do so why should we spring to action if there is a collission and the only consideration is whether the competitor has raised a red flag?

    I have not checked the text of the call but to ask a race committee to abondon should only occur where it is likley a protest committee would abandon the race. As the competitor cannot seek to have the race abandoned, the race committee should not put the burden onto them to prelong racing which may result in the loss of the finals or otherwise if conditions change.

    Competitors should not be encouraged to red flag when the rules do not permit it and to encourage it in this way is contrary to proper rules management I believe.

    The rules do not encourage the giving redress they permit it if a serious interferance has occured.

    I believe this is like an elephant you know what it is when you see it.

    No generally contact means nothing to me, a policy of reporting serious contact to the Chief is good, a view as to whether it was serious or not could be given.

    If serious and the view is there could have been serious interferance a discussion with the Chief will reveal whether a fuller investigation is required.

    The boat especially if pre start may still win and keep the schedule intact.

    Mike B

    Who was chief umpire?

  5. Jos,

    I believe you're bringing up one instance of a general situation. There are many reasons why a RC should abandon a start sequence and re-start the sequence. This is just one of them.

    My basic position is that when the RC sees an event, be it a collision with a Umpire boat, an error by the RC, the addition of a large spectator boat to the starting area, a 180 degree wind shift, or any other event that clearly makes the start "unfair"; then that RC should stop and re-start the sequence. The goal is to provide the competitors with a fair start in a sailboat race. It is not to see if one competitor can get lucky.

    As a result, I don't think it is incumbent upon the Umpires to ask the RC for the re-start; rather, it is up to the RC to be observing the action and to immediately stop the starting procedure in the event that something "unfair" happens. Your example is one of many such events that could happen.

    Just my humble opinion.



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