(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)
Case 80Rule 60, Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or Rule 69 Action
Rule 61.2(b), Protest Requirements: Protest Contents
Rule 62.1(a), Redress
Rule A5, Scores Determined by the Race Committee
A hearing of a protest or a request for redress must be limited to the alleged incident, action or omission. Although a boat may be scored DNF if she does not finish according to that term’s definition, she may not be scored DNF for failing to sail the course correctly.Summary of the Facts
When boat A crossed the finishing line in the direction of the course from the last mark, the race committee scored her DNF because it believed from its observations that she had not left one of the rounding marks on the required side and, therefore, had failed to sail the course correctly. A requested redress on the grounds that, even though she had finished properly, she was not given a finishing place. The protest committee did not give A redress, deciding that rule 62.1(a) did not apply because A failed to sail the course correctly, and that her failure to do so was not due to an act or omission of the race committee but was entirely her own fault. A appealed.
A’s appeal is upheld. The race committee acted improperly in scoring A DNF when she did finish according to the definition Finish. The race committee could have scored boat A as DNF only for failing to finish correctly (see rule A5). Since A crossed the finishing line from the direction of the last mark, she should have been recorded as having finished.
A fundamental principle of protest committee procedure is that a hearing must be limited to the particular ‘incident’ alleged in a protest (see rule 61.2(b)) or to the particular incident alleged to be ‘an improper action or omission’ in a request for redress under rule 62.1(a). Although the incident that was the subject of A’s request for redress was that she had been incorrectly scored DNF, the protest committee turned to a different incident when it considered whether or not she had failed to sail the course correctly and therefore broken rule 28.1. Since that incident was not the incident alleged in the redress for request, the committee acted improperly.
If a race committee believes from its observations that a boat has not sailed the course correctly, it may protest the boat for that breach as permitted by rule 60.2(a). In this case, the race committee did not protest A. Because A had not been protested for failing to sail the course correctly, she could not be penalized for that failure.
In summary, the facts show that A finished according to the definition Finish. She should not have been scored DNF and was therefore entitled to redress under rule 62.1(a) for an improper action of the race committee. The decision of the protest committee is reversed and A is to be scored as having finished at the time she crossed the finishing line.
This principle of sticking to the issue at hand, has frustrated many a hearing.
And the question about how to score a boat that hasn’t rounded all the marks is asked by perhaps all Race Committees. Therefore a useful case, imho.