CASE 67Part 2 Preamble
Rule 69.1, Allegations of Gross Misconduct: Action by a Protest Committee
When a boat is racing and meets a vessel that is not, both are bound by the government right-of-way rules. When, under those rules, the boat racing is required to keep clear but intentionally hits the other boat, she may be penalized for gross misconduct.Summary of the Facts
Under the government right-of-way rules applicable, W, a boat that was racing, was required to keep clear of a sailing vessel to leeward, L, that was not racing. W wished to sail a lower course to a mark and hailed L, which refused to respond. W then intentionally hit L by bumping her boom against L several times, thereby causing damage.
L informed the race committee of W’s behaviour. The race committee protested W, and a hearing was called. W was disqualified for breaking rules 11 and 14. W appealed on the grounds that the racing rules did not apply, and consequently the protest committee was not entitled to disqualify her.
W’s appeal is dismissed. The preamble to Part 2 of the racing rules makes it clear that, when W met L, W was required to comply with the government right-of-way rules. Moreover, W was also subject to the racing rules other than those of Part 2. W did not comply with the government rules and, by intentionally hitting and damaging L, committed a gross breach of not only a rule but of good manners as well.
The decision of the protest committee is upheld, but W is disqualified under the government rule applicable and not under racing rule 11 or rule 14. Both those rules are rules of Part 2, which would have applied only if both boats had been intending to race, were racing, or had been racing. W also committed a gross breach of the government rule and a gross breach of good manners, so the protest committee would have been entitled to call a hearing under rule 69.1.
One from the Lowlands; KNWV is the abbreviation of Koninklijk Nederlands Watersport Verbond.
It has been and still is sometimes very crowded on the inland lakes here in Friesland. Racing boats must share the water with all kinds of tourist - and recreational boats. It must be clear that the applicable government right-of-way rules are in effect between those two groups.
When I have a look on the water however, the shouting and cussing sometimes gives me the impression that racing sailors think they are entitled to the water all by themselves.
Beware, what was valid 30 years ago still applies!