Monday, 3 October 2011

(pillow)Case of the Week (2/11) - 57

(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 57

Rule 60.2, Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or 
Rule 69 Action
Rule 78.3, Compliance with Class Rules; Certificates

The race committee is required to protest only as a result of a report received from an equipment inspector or a measurer appointed for an event. When a current, properly authenticated certificate has been presented in good faith by an owner who has complied with the requirements of rule 78.1, the final results of a race or series must stand, even though the certificate is later withdrawn.
Summary of the Facts
A and B were among boats racing under a rating system in a summer-long series. After its completion, B requested redress on the grounds that the race committee had used an incorrect rating certificate for A throughout the series. After the request was lodged, the rating authority confirmed that there had been an unsuspected error in A’s certificate since her first hull measurement some years previously. B then stated that the race committee should have protested A, as required by rule 60.2.
The protest committee found that the owner of A was not responsible for the error of calculation in the rating, nor was there any evidence that he had broken rule 78.1. It decided that no action or omission of the race committee was responsible for the error or for its remaining undiscovered, and that therefore B was not entitled to redress. It requested confirmation or correction of its decision under rule 70.2.
The decision of the protest committee is confirmed. B claimed that the race committee’s failure to protest A, as required by the last sentence of rule 60.2, was prejudicial to herself and the other boats in the class. However, that rule’s provision concerning rule 78.3 did not apply. Rule 78.3 applies to a report received from an equipment inspector or a measurer appointed for an event. In this case the report came from the national rating authority, over which neither the organizing authority nor the race committee had any authority.
When a valid certificate is found to be defective, it may be withdrawn by the authority that issued it, but no retrospective action may be taken in regard to a completed series or any completed races in a series that is still in progress. Thus, when a current, properly authenticated certificate has been presented in good faith and a race or series has been completed, the results of that race or series must stand, even though at a later date the certificate is withdrawn.
RYA 1983/1


Because of recent experiences I can state that this is a very useful case. Although it might seem inappropriate to let the results stand, strict adherence to the rules in these situations is the only way. You can’t, in hindsight, change the scoring unless ‘foul play’ can be proven.

What I personally think is that the role of the equipment inspector or a measurer appointed for an event, should be better defined in the rulebook. He’s part of the Race Committee but he also has to report to the Race Committee. He can’t protest himself and cannot be named a party in a request for redress. His actions are conducted mostly quite independent from the RC – who even might have a conflict of interest with him at times. But according to the rules only the RC can be held responsible for his (non) actions. If the event equipment inspector does not report back to the RC, they cannot lodge a protest. In which case you’re up the creek without a paddle – as they say.

To all Race Officers I say: Check in with the equipment inspector before you start racing and ask for his (written) report. If then any issues come up, you can act on them. If you don’t, the EI will most likely have left the venue and then you will not have his help during a measurement protest later.


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