Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Measurer or Equipement Inspector in the Rules

A new Q&A from ISAF, about the measurer or equipment inspector:

ISAF Racing Rules Question and Answer Service
J 021 Q&A 2011-020; Published: 22 October 2011

Question 1
Is an equipment inspector or measurer at an event a member of the race committee for that event?

Answer 1
Not normally. Equipment inspectors or event measurers are responsible for checking that the boats or the personal equipment used by competitors comply with the class rules. According to the Terminology in the Introduction to the Racing Rules of Sailing, ‘Race committee’ includes any person performing a race committee function. The race committee functions are stated in different rules in Part 7 (conduct races, publish written sailing instructions, score races, etc) and equipment inspection is not one of them.

If however the equipment inspectors or event measurers were appointed by the race committee to conduct such responsibilities on behalf of the race committee, then they are members of the race committee.

Question 2
If the answer to Question 1 is yes, can the equipment inspector or the event measurer protest a boat under rule 60.2 without the need for the written report required by rule 78.3?

Answer 2
The equipment inspector or the event measurer can only protest the boat if the race committee delegates this responsibility to him or if the sailing instructions change rules 78.3 and 60.2 accordingly.

Question 3
The rules at an event require that a certificate is produced before a boat races. One boat does not produce a certificate, but the race committee receives a statement signed by the person in charge that a valid certificate exists and that it will be given to the race committee before the end of the event. The race committee does not receive the certificate in time.
Can that boat be scored DSQ for all races without a protest as rule 78.2 indicates?

Answer 3
No. The race committee should protest the boat. Rule A5 lists the scoring actions the race committee may take without a hearing. An action under rule 78.2 is not in that list.

If your boat is measured by a measurer or equipment inspector please check the SI if he/she is a member of the Race Committe. If the SI do not give an answer, ask! Perhaps the OA has appointed him/her?
Then you can request redress because the measurer or equipment inspector is part of the organizing authority.
If that is also not the case, i.e. the OA did not appoint him/her, we get into "murky" water.

If the inspector/measurer doesn't approve a boat or equipment, he is obliged to report that to the RC (Rule 78,3), who then has the obligation to protest you.(rule 60.2). If there's no report, there will be no protest. And you cannot request redress if the measurer or equipment inspector is not part of the RC or OA.....
Please do not hesitate to bring that to the attention of the PRO - he can at least have a "conversation".

After receiving a report, the RC cannot just DSQ a boat without a protest. They can refuse entry (rule 76.1) but they will have to give a reason. And when that happens you can go to the PC requesting redress. The PC will then investigate and hear your argument why you think that reason is not valid.

If you compete with a boat that - according to the measurer or equipment inspector - is not complying with the class rules, AND you think they are wrong (make sure you know what you are taking about) you still can compete in the regatta.

The RC will protest you and the PC will disqualify you, but then you can use rule 64.3(c) to compete in all subsequent races. You will have to appeal the disqualification and argue your case before the appeals committee, but if you win, the results will stand. If you lose that appeal, all results will be deleted and replaced by DSQ..... But then you were DSQed already - and at least you were able to sail the event, no?

Oh, this trick will only work once. If you try this a second time, the appeals committee will slap a rule 2 on you or worse, start an rule 69 investigation.

There is light at the end of the tunnel: A submission to change rule 62.1, so you can request redress for an omission or improper action by a measurer or equipment inspector.


  1. Interesting- at B14 World Championships the "host" fleet is co-opted en-masse by the "host" class association to carry out measurement checks. If it wasn't for that "not normally" we'd face the spectre of more than half the fleet (we rather run on the edge of ISAFs requirements for International classes, but we're compliant) being regarded as part of the Race Committee, which would be somewhat unusual?

  2. Jos, Happy Birthday, and thanks for the blog - I've been enjoying it very much!

    I make the following comment only because you said you were writing the blog partly to practice your English, and this is an increasingly common English mistake (made by many native speakers, I'm afraid). I hope you will take it in the spirit in which it's intended

    One does not "loose" an appeal. Correct usage is "...lose that appeal". The opposite of "lose" is win, the opposite of "loose" is tight.

    Great site, and thanks for all your work!

  3. @Al
    Wow, a whole cartload of inspectors. The sheer number of them must keep the group honest, so no redress necessary.
    Thanks and corrected!

  4. One additionale point:
    rule 64.3(c) does only work with a Protest Committee not with an International Jury.

  5. @Uli
    Correct, and if appeals have been denied by the National Authority - for instance in case of selection races - it doesn't work either.

  6. Dear all,

    In section 9.25.4 the Judges' Manual has some information about this as well.
    From my understanding it says that a measurer or equipment inspector is actually part of the RC and subject to their direction, provided that he has been appointed to do so (no matter by whom, OA or RC).

    from the Judges' Manual:

    9.25.4 Measurer's Responsibility
    An equipment inspector or a measurer appointed for an event to conduct
    measurement checks is a part of the race committee. A person not so appointed, even
    if he is a senior international chief measurer, has no official status at an event except
    © ISAF Judges Manual 78 Edition 5 November 2008
    when called as an expert witness. Under the racing rules, the equipment inspector or
    an official measurer is subject to the direction of the race committee and the racing
    rules. He is not independent or free to act as he wishes.


  7. Not really surprising there is different information in different ISAF documents. However my understanding is thet neither the Q and A answers or the ISAF Judges manual are 'authoritative' or have any official status.
    So we are none the wiser really!

  8. Regarding Question 3, a minor conflict in the rules book: per RRS A5 the RC can worsen a boat's score under limited circumstances, however, per 78.2 it is not required that a boat be protested under the given circumstance. A boat owner, having provided a signed statement of intent to provide a legitimate certificate after racing begins but before all racing ends, is racing 'provisionally'. If that owner fails to provide said certificate, the OA or RC is within its rights to disqualify the boat's results - without a hearing. The wording could be improved to read, 'the boat's entry shall be canceled', which would be more in keeping with 76.1.


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