Monday, 16 August 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (33) – 80;

(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 80

Rule 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.

USSA 1993/289


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.



  1. IMHO this is hair splitting. In order to finish something you have to complete the job. If you have not sailed the course you have not completed the race and therefore cannot finish it. Our sailing instructions say that a race committee which sees someone not sail the course correctly may disqualify that boat without a hearing. presumably that boat has until the expiration of the time limit to go back and sail the course correctly so we all have to sit around for an hour in case he does so. Come on.....!

    George Morris

  2. George,

    It is not necessary to sail the course per 28.1 for a boat to finish per the definition of finish. The interpretation and application of rule 28.1 and the definition of finish was discussed in depth in the LTW Q&A #39 part 1 and part 2. It can be found in the archives. Part 1 is titled 039 finishing Seaweed and Part 2 is titled 039 Continued Still not finished.

    I suppose the SI’s can change rule A5 to say that a boat that does not sail the course per 28.1 can be scored by the race committee without a hearing. But I wonder if you can score the boat DNF as that might be changing the definition of finish which is not allowed per 86.1(b). Perhaps it would be best to create and clearly define a new Scoring Abbreviation, which would include the boats score. How about a Scoring Abbreviation of BSR for “Broke the String Rule”.

    I think, under 28.1 which uses the words “and until finishing”, a boat that breaks the plane of the finish line cannot go back and correct a error that it made at one of the rounding marks. Then, under the definition of finish, a boat can only correct a 28.1 error that it makes at the finish line. In either case the wait for the boat to finish again will not be very long.

    I also do not see how scoring the boat without a hearing will keep it from attempting to correct its 28.1 error up to the end of the time limit. In which case the RC must wait till the end of the time limit.


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