Sunday, 19 February 2012

Score 02/10 LTW 2012 Winter Challenge

Phew, that were a lot of questions.
Some good, some not so, but because of different perspectives, everybody could experience that a fellow judges question may trigger a thought in your brain. Not so good questions, got 'bad answers', so I'll only count and not value the content... But in a next round I might.. (>.<)

As most of you discovered, this episode was about Case 50. The Port tack boat must convince the PC that their was not a reasonable apprehension of collision by Starboard. Read (pillow)Case of the Week (08) - 50, if you want to brush up.

This was the picture/animation I made when writing the Episode. In it you see the Red boat bearing away in position 3, just short of a boat length from Purple. There's also a Pink boat. It is only to show what would have happened if Red hadn't changed course.

Individual; remarks about FF, Conclusions and Decision are - per usual - in the comments in the original Episode Post: LTW 2012 Winter Challenge 02/10; Questions

The Score:
I've counted the number of questions + 5 points for a perfect and correct answer. Anybody mentioning Case 50 got a bonus point. There were a some challengers who asked questions but didn't send in an answer.....

We are almost halfway towards the hundred points, dear challengers, keep it up!


  1. Does quoting case 50 in a decision count as mentioning it?

    Grey Bear

    1. Well, I did notice that you used the wording from Case 50, but decided to earn a bonus point the actual Case must be mentioned. Sorry to be so strict, but there you have it....

  2. lesson learnt - The last sentence of 86.1(b) applies (RYA 1997/2 provides guidance) to the Winter Challenge! The rule or case number must be referred to specifically.

    Grey Bear

  3. Jos

    Leaving aside questions of scoring here, when should cases be mentioned in decisions?

    Lately I have avoided references to cases for a number of reasons. Firstly, if a case is mentioned in a decision, it appears to be a rule, when it is only an interpretation of a rule. That causes confusion, and leads to the danger of people treating phrases in cases (such as "reasonable apprehension of contact") as formulae. Secondly, a typical sailor reading the notice board can easily look up a rule, but it is harder for them to find a casebook and read it. When they do, they tend to get bogged down in detail. However, if a case is mentioned as justification for a decision, they feel obliged to read it. Thirdly, if you mention case 50, then you should also mention case 88 which is just as relevant. Then what about the relevant Q & As? Where do you stop? Fourthly, quoting cases gives an air of pretension to a decision - like saying "I must be right because I can quote all these authorities that mere mortal sailors cannot question (regardless of whether I've used them correctly)".

    Under rule 65.1 a protest committee shall promptly inform the parties of the facts found, applicable rules, the decision, the reasons for it, and any penalties imposed or redress given. Why add unnecessary extra things? Cases may well be of interest to judges, but shouldn't our protest decisions be written for the sailors?

    1. You make a couple of good points. I'll answer them in the order you've raised them:

      I would mention a case in the conclusions - not in the decision, and then only if it is "special". Cases might not be rules, but they are authoritative interpretations of the rules. Q&A's are not, although if relevant I also mention those.

      I have more confidence in sailors being able to find a casebook - specially in this information rich age. And some cases are good to read, also for sailors. Also, a party in the hearing has a responsibility leading back to the basic principle. She must also enforce the rules! That doesn't end when you come ashore.

      Case 88 is less relevant because there both boats respond.
      I don't think quoting cases is pretentious, but I see your point.
      As long as rule 65.1 is followed and all relevant information is included, I think it is prudent to give Case information as well.

      I've never stated that my views are the 'norm'. Please remember I'm not the guy who has the last say. I can only give you my opinion - which you can disagree with, as much as you want. If you state your case with valid arguments - like you have - I'm willing to change my opinion as much as the next guy. This is one of the reasons why a PC or Jury should be made up by more than one person.

  4. Jos,

    Would you be able to elaborate on the type of questions you might have asked/avoided? For example, which facts did you consider the most important to find out?

    Were there any leading questions that should have been avoided? E.g I wanted to ask Purple to be more specific but considered this to be leading, was I right in this regard?

    1. Speed and distance as well as the circumstances are very relevant in this case. But those questions were asked.
      I would also have asked the witness precisely where she was, when she saw what she saw. Nobody asked how far in front she was.
      I realise that without the benefit of a drawing or boats on the table it is harder. Text only does have its limitations.
      But that was the challenge, was it not?

      If you want a specific answer, ask a specific question. Leading questions are different - in leading questions the right answer is already in the question itself.
      For example:
      Leading: "Did you do everything you could to avoid the collision? Answer: YES
      Specific: Where was your boat in relation to the other boat when you first changed course? Answer: I was less then 6 meters from his port hull pointing at his mast with my starboard bow. > And with that answer, you draw your own conclusion whether or not she did everything she could to avoid the collision.


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