Thursday, 28 July 2011

LTW Readers Q&A (51): Loosing the flag?

Gaston asks:

I had the following situation once before. I wonder what the umpires think about this:

During the pre-start my opponent lets his (only) Y-flag fall in the water. He can no longer protest. The rest of the pre-start I'm trying to prevent him from picking up the flag from the water. (Unfortunately he eventually succeeded).

Imagine this situation: My opponent has no Y flag and I violate the rules in the pre-start time and again and then win the race. How far can I go? Will there be a time when the umpires will decide enough is enough and go for rule 2 without any Y-flag being displayed?

To answer your question I had a look at rule C8.3:

C8.3 When the umpires decide that a boat has
(a) gained an advantage by breaking a rule after allowing for a penalty,
(b) deliberately broken a rule, or
(c) committed a breach of sportsmanship,
she shall be penalized under rule C5.2, C5.3 or C5.4.
If the umpires decide that you deliberately break the rules and/or commit a breach of sportsmanship, because you know your opponent cannot protest, they will use this rule and start handing out penalties. Preventing someone to pick up a flag - using the rules - is fine in my book. That falls under the same heading as preventing someone to enter. As long as you stay within the rules, perfectly legal. But if you start breaking rules to prevent the other boat from picking up its Y-flag, you break rule 2 as well. (See also Case 78)


  1. WRONG! Preventing the other boat from picking up his flag is NOT the same as preventing entry. The box is tactical, the flag is basic fairness.

  2. Well, we disagree on this one then, Anonymous. I think that, as long as you do it within the rules, preventing a boat to sail where it wants, is a fair tactic in match racing. You'd have to penalize a boat under rule 2, and that is pretty severe for a boat breaking no other rules. When are you able to decide that it is not simply trying to prevent the other boat from starting first?

  3. I dont think it would be unreasonable for an umpire to retrieve the flag and give it back.


  4. If there's a chance the flag, would sink I would try to retrieve it (provided it wasn't distracting me from any rules issue between boats), but I would not give it back to the boat who lost it.
    That would violate rule 41....


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...