Sportsmanship and the Rules
Rule 2, Fair Sailing
Rule 30.3, Starting Penalties: Black Flag Rule
Rule 69.1, Allegations of Gross Misconduct: Action by a Protest Committee
When a boat knows that she has broken the Black Flag rule, she is obliged to retire promptly. When she does not do so and then deliberately hinders another boat in the race, she commits a gross breach of sportsmanship and of rule 2, and her helmsman commits a gross breach of sportsmanship.Summary of the Facts
At the start of race 4, A was clearly about three to four hull lengths on the course side of the starting line. Rule 30.3 was in effect, so the race committee disqualified her without a hearing. A, although she knew she was over the line at her starting signal, continued to race and covered B for the first part of the first beat. B protested A for breaking rule 2.
The protest committee confirmed the disqualification of A under rule 30.3. It also decided that, by continuing to race and cover B when she knew that she had broken rule 30.3, A broke rule 2.
As required by rule 90.3(b), it penalized her by making her disqualification not excludable. Later the same day, acting under rule 69.1, it called a hearing alleging that the behaviour of A’s helmsman in hindering B was a gross breach of sportsmanship and of rule 2. It decided that the helmsman had committed the alleged gross breaches, and excluded him and disqualified A from all races of the series. A appealed the protest committee’s decisions.
A’s appeal is dismissed.
A was correctly disqualified from race 4 for breaking rule 30.3. The protest committee found as fact that A’s helmsman knew that he had been on the course side of the starting line at the starting signal; that he had broken rule 30.3; that he was, therefore, already disqualified; and that he had seriously hindered another boat in the race.
A clearly committed a gross breach of sportsmanship (see Sportsmanship and the Rules) and of rule 2, and the protest committee acted properly under rule 69.1 in excluding A’s helmsman and disqualifying A from all races of the series.
What is the difference between a boat that has started to soon and is OCS, with this boat, you might ask? Both are already DSQ-ed from the beginning – never having started the race.
The difference is in the knowledge of the helmsman/crew of this boat. He knew he was breaking a rule and still covered another boat. If you cover someone you better make sure you haven’t broken or do not break any rule, because if you do it is ‘go directly to rule 2’ for the PC.
Please go back to Case 78 – if you have doubt about that.
And it happens at professional sailing events. See this post: X40 Trapani 2010 – Team Racing?