Tuesday, 3 January 2012

ISAF Q&A 2011 - 023 and 024

Published om the ISAF website; a couple of late 2011 Q&A's, both with 31 December 2011 as date of publishing.

ISAF Q&A 2011-023 K03 deals with Match Racing.
It is fairly common to have more than one windward mark and boats are shown a colored flag at the preparatory signal to indicate which windward mark to use for their match. This Q&A answers a question that many sailors and umpires have struggled with. And many different opinions were discussed.

What if both boats round the wrong windward mark?
Should the race be abandoned? Who should indicate this. Should the umpires penalize if a boat touches that (wrong) windward mark..... etc.

I'm not sure if I agree completely with the solution this Q&A gives. If both boats round the same mark it is a fair race, is it not? If touching the wrong mark is not penalized - by deduction it is therefor not a mark of the course - than boats NEVER go to the next leg of the course. They are still sailing on a beat although they are returning to the leeward mark. This means doing a penalty by tacking and bearing away is the wrong penalty.
Rule 17 gets very confusing! Proper course is to go to the correct windward mark. If, when sailing to the leeward mark, a leeward boat gets an overlap, she can luff up to head-to-wind... AND still be not be sailing above her proper course....

These are but a few first hand problems is see with the answer in this Q&A. Perhaps it should be the policy of the RC to abandon immediately when both boats round the wrong mark....

ISAF Q&A 2011-024 J023 deals with redress for a taking a penalty.
If a boat takes a penalty but protests the other boat and is found not to have broken any rules in the subsequent hearing, can it get redress for having taken the penalty? (having lost places in doing so)
The short answer is NO.

Not because it wasn't a disadvantage, not because she wasn't fouled.
Redress is unavailable because none of the criteria in rule 62.1 is applicable;
  • The PC, RC or OA haven't made a mistake
  • There was no damage or injury by a boat breaking a rule in part 2
  • Nobody needed help in compliance for with rule 1.1
  • There was no boat who was penalized under rule 2 or rule 69
We can also argue if it was - at least partly - her own fault. By taking a penalty you make sure, that if in the subsequent hearing the boat was found to have broken a rule, she would be exonerated.
But you don't have to take a penalty.!

It is the boats choice to do so. If she hadn't, the same outcome of the hearing would have exonerated her anyway.......


  1. One question related to Q&A 023: if the match is abandoned as per ISAF policy, should it be resailed or both boats get zero points for that match and you proceed with the pairing list?
    According to RRS definitions: "A race that a race committee or protest committee abandons is void but MAY be resailed" (my emphasis). But SHOULD it be resailed?
    Both boats made a mistake by rounding the wrong mark, so I believe both answers are possible... so there should be a policy for RCs and protest committees alike.

  2. Good point Anonymous. Definitely something to formulate a policy about before racing. Otherwise decisions will be based on available time and circumstances.


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