Thursday, 22 December 2011

(pillow)Case of the week (50/11) – 31

(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.)

I’m catching up this week because I realized I’m out of sync with the actual week numbers…..

(pillow)Case picture


Sportsmanship and the Rules
Rule 2, Fair Sailing
Rule 26, Starting Races
Rule 29.1, Recalls: Individual Recall
Rule 64.2, Decisions: Decisions on Redress
Race Signals, X

When the correct visual recall signal for individual recall is made but the required sound signal is not, and when a recalled boat in a position to hear a sound signal does not see the visual signal and does not return, she is entitled to redress. However, if she realizes she is over the line she must return and start correctly.

Summary of the Facts

At the start of a race the visual individual recall signal required by rule 29.1 was correctly made, but the required sound signal was not. One of the recalled boats, A, did not return and later requested redress on the grounds that she started simultaneously with the starting signal and heard no recall sound signal.

The protest committee found that A was not entirely on the pre-start side of the starting line at the starting signal. It gave A a finishing position as redress because of the absence of the sound signal. Another boat, B, then asked for redress, claiming that her finishing position was affected by what she believed to have been an improper decision to give a finishing position to A. B was not given redress, and she appealed on the grounds that rule 26 states: ‘the absence of a sound signal shall be disregarded’.


B’s appeal is dismissed. The protest committee’s decision to give redress to A is upheld. The requirement in rule 29.1 and in Race Signals regarding the making of a sound signal when flag X is displayed is essential to call the attention of boats to the fact that one or more of them are being recalled.

When the sound signal is omitted from an individual recall, and a recalled boat in a position to hear a sound signal does not see the visual signal and does not return, she is entitled to redress. (If the redress given is to adjust the boat’s race score, it should reflect the fact that, generally, when a recalled boat returns to the pre-course side of the line after her starting signal, she usually starts some time after boats that were not recalled. An allowance for that time should be made.) However, a boat that realizes that she was over the line is not entitled to redress, and she must comply with rules 28.1 and, if it applies, rule 30.1. If she fails to do so, she breaks rule 2 and fails to comply with the Basic Principle, Sportsmanship and the Rules.

Concerning Boat B’s request, the provision of Rule 26 that ‘the absence of a sound signal shall be disregarded’ applies only to the warning, preparatory, one-minute and starting signals. When the individual recall signal is made, both the visual and sound signals are required unless the sailing instructions state otherwise.

RYA 1974/7


To decide on a request for redress you need to answer a couple of essential questions. I’ve set up the following flow diagram to guide you:

Flowdiagram RR 011

In Case 31 the answer to the first question is YES; Boat A was scored OCS which is significantly worse than any place she had sailed.

The answer to the second question is also YES; She was not aware she was over the line. Had she been aware, this question would have to be answered NO; because then not returning would have been (partly) her own fault.

As to the cause in Case 31; not giving a sound signal is covered by 62.1(a); that was an omission by the Race Committee.

We arrive at the outcome: Redress granted


  1. Very good paper.
    But i can´t understand the redress in perth WC for a boat, finishing second after a Rule 10, 18.3 incident. See decision #57:
    USA-8241, GER-8414 and IRL-8418 entitled to redress: aveerage points from race 1 up to last race on 15 December 2011, but not worse than their actual finishing positions in race 2.

  2. I think IRL and GER both received the place they sailed in the race (i.e. place 2 and 13), because that was better than there average....
    But how redress can be granted when apparently the score was not worsened, I don't understand either....
    Perhaps IRL was winning the race before the incident?


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