Monday, 26 September 2011

(pillow)Case of the Week (3/11) - 55

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Casebook 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All cases are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The Cases are copied from the Casebook, only the comments are written by me.)
(pillow)Case picture

Case 55

Rule 70.1, Appeals and Requests to a National Authority
Definitions, Party

A boat cannot protest the race committee or the protest committee. However, she may request redress or, if she is a party to a hearing, request that it be reopened. A boat that was not a party to a hearing does not have the right to appeal. When she believes that her score has been made significantly worse by an improper action or omission of the race committee, her only remedy is to request redress. She may then appeal the decision of that hearing.
Summary of the Facts
A ‘protested’ the race committee because of inadequate rescue facilities in contravention of the club’s constitution. The race committee abandoned the completed race. B appealed.


B’s appeal is refused because it cannot be heard under rule 70.1. B does not have the right to appeal because she was not a party to a hearing. Therefore her ‘appeal’ is in fact not an appeal but a request for redress that could have been addressed to and heard by the protest committee. The following points may assist in the understanding of this case:

1. There is no provision in the racing rules under which a boat can protest the race committee or protest committee. The only actions a boat can take against one of these committees are to request redress when she claims that her score in a race or a series of races has been made significantly worse by an improper action or omission of the race committee or protest committee, or to ask for a hearing to be reopened under rule 66 when she is a party to it. In this case, A made no such claim; her ‘protest’ was merely a criticism of the committee, having no standing under the racing rules.

2. Quite apart from the racing rules, a competitor is at liberty to point out to the race committee that it has made an error. When aware of its error, the race committee may try to have it taken into account by asking the protest committee to consider giving redress as permitted by rule 60.2(b).
3. If B had been a competitor in the race and had lodged a valid request for redress claiming that her score had been made significantly worse by the abandonment of the race, she would have been entitled to a redress hearing at which she would have been a party. She then could have appealed the decision of that hearing.

RYA 1982/11


If you feel aggrieved by anything the Organizing Authority, the Race Committee or the Protest Committee does or not does, you can ‘Request Redress’. Be aware however that, before the redress is granted, you also must show that it was trough no fault of your own and that this action (or non-action) had a significant negative impact on your score.

At most events it is usually more productive to go to the information desk and ask if you can have a word with the Race Officer or the PC-Chair. Just telling them about the issue you have, might have the effect you desire. If not, then you can still get a form and ask for redress. If the answer is still unsatisfactory you then have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

In a final note; The racing rules state that before the PC makes a decision on redress – especially before abandoning a race – it must consider the effect on all boats.

In the USA that is even brought a step further, because the US Sailing has issued a couple of prescriptions for RRA 60 & 63.2:
US SAILING prescribes that when redress has been requested or is to be considered, any boat may participate in the hearing provided she makes a written request before the hearing begins. When she does so, the protest committee shall act under rule 60.3(b) to consider redress for her at that hearing.
That boat then in effect becomes a party to the hearing
US SAILING prescribes that when redress has been requested or is to be considered, the protest committee shall make a reasonable attempt to notify all boats of the time and place of the hearing and the nature of the request or the grounds for considering redress. Before holding the hearing, the committee shall allow reasonable time for boats to make written requests to participate.
Mind, the PC will most likely just publish the protest hearing schedule, with the request for redress on it, on the notice board and consider that a reasonable attempt to notify all boats involved. Don’t expect the PC to go looking for boats and/or crews in the boat park!


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