Thursday, 13 October 2011

ESS Act 8; Almeria Spain

I've arrived in Almeria Spain to do the Extreme Sailing Series Act 8. Yesterday we had the first day and because it was a Spanish holiday, started with stadium racing straight away. Very light winds and four races inside the harbour.

Before racing the OA had a meeting with the sailors about the difficulties we had in Nice. Emotions ran high and some ugly things were said there. I wrote about them earlier. We also had "Coffee with Umpires", a daily meeting with any sailor who's interested in our calls and procedures. A whole series of proposals to change procedures were discussed of which some have been implemented straight away:

- We are going to use a different coloured flag (pink) if we are unable to make a decision, either because we were not able to assess the facts, or were not in position to judge or plain just didn't see it. Instead of the Green/white flag we will now use Pink. Hopefully very few times, but at least to make clear that somebody might have broken a rule only we were not able to umpire that.

- The RC can declare a "Display Race". If the circumstances are such that a normal race is not possible - due to lack of wind, major wind-shift or any other way that compromises the fairness of the race - the RC can use this option. Boats are still obliged to race - or face a penalty - but the race is not counted in the scoring.

Other proposals will be discussed in the coming weeks and may be used in the NOR for next year.

On a personal note I'm very glad that the events in Nice have been openly discussed and will not have a negative effect in Act 8. I've hidden our Black flag again in the back of the umpire boat.


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