Sunday, 25 March 2012

Score LTW 2012 Winter Challenge 03/16

You are not making this easy!

First of all I must confess that I had some difficulties deciding this incident myself. I would have liked have had the opportunity to discuss the rules involved in a panel to reach the most equatable solution. By having a panel with more persons (read opinions) you get a better balance.

Most of you decided that Red's protest was invalid because she didn't hail 'protest'. I can't say that this is wrong, but would like to point out that the rule states she must do so 'at the first reasonable opportunity for each'. So my question to you is: "What has to happen before you decide that hailing has not to be done immediately?"

For instance: If both the helmsman and the crew were thrown overboard by the sudden deceleration, would any of you have insisted on Red yelling protest to Purple?
I think not. By the time they were able to get back on board Purple would have long gone and hailing would have been pointless. Then 61.1(a)(1) would have allowed the protest to be validated.

In our situation only the crew was thrown overboard. The skipper was still aboard. But picture what the situation was. A spinnaker flying in front of the boat, the mainsail full, the boat about to be smashed against the committee vessel, you crew in the water and you yourself recovering from having been thrown forward by the sudden deceleration. Would you have the wherewithal to clear your head and, before starting to keep your boat out of danger and check your crew was okay, yell protest?

At least a consideration.
In these circumstances it is in my view not 'wrong' to allow the validity to be decided in favor of the sailor.

Because of declaring the protest of Red invalid we never go to the issue if Purple did keep clear and or give enough mark-room. In my opinion she did. Boats should be able to pass marks - even if if they are committee boats -  very close. Or if that is not possible because of anchor-lines or such, at least clearly marked where or where not to pass.

In my opinion the shallowness of the anchor-rode coupled with the lack of clearly marking the save point of passage, was an improper action of the RC. So redress is possible for Red. She should have been able to pass the committee vessel safely without any chance of getting entangled in the line.

Did any of you ask if she wanted redress? It was not on the original protest-form.....
Most International Jury's have a policy decided beforehand. To offer redress if it is appropriate when not asked and talk with the representative of the boat what it should be. Or not to do this. It should be - at least - consistent for all competitors in the event.

Then there's the issue with rule 41. Rule 41(b) allows members of the RC-boat to help in getting clear. Most of you concluded this. Good. Then the rubber-boat brought back the rudder. Almost all of you concluded that was not permitted under rule 41. Also correct. But what about rule 1.1?
A boat or competitor shall give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger
Was Red in danger?
In my opinion you can answer with yes. Without her rudder there was a real possibility she would have ended up on the rocks. Could she continue in the race after getting that help? That is depending on what was written in the sailing instructions. Why do you think the RC brought this protest?

None of you asked if there was a provision in the SI allowing a boat to get help as long as it didn't involved progress in the race......

I was reminded not long ago by one of my friends (who's also a judge) that you are allowed to find a solution that is within the rules, that gives the best outcome for the competitor.

I've scored the entries according to this criteria:

  • Format and consistency between facts found and conclusion: 2 points;
  • Answer on finishing: 1 point;
  • Validity decision: 1 point for each protest;
  • Restricted the second protest on the issue: 1 point;
  • Decision on rule 41: 1 point.
  • Decision on redress: 1 points; Giving back finish position (2e) to Red: 1 point
  • Decision on rule 31 (mark touching) and exoneration: 1 point.
  • If you managed to get to rule 1.1 you earn 2 bonus points.

Except for the bonus points, I haven't looked at if you had the same outcome as me, only if your decision was based on valid grounds and arguments.

This has resulted in the following score:

Still very close at the top, but no ties at the moment.


  1. "Then there's the issue with rule 41. Rule 41(b) allows members of the RC-boat to help in getting clear."
    I have a question on that. If the RC at the finish was a motor boat does Rule 41(b) allows the members to help in getting clear? The rule says "after a collision, help from the crew of the other boat to get clear" and in the introduction of the Rule book is mentioned that boat means a sailboat and the crew on board.


    1. The RRS are not al that consistent on this issue. In some rules a boat is 'any boat'. Particularly if there's contact and damage or injury.
      Also for instance help to get clear after a collision as described in rule 41(b) can be any boat.

  2. I must admit that I'm struggling to find an instance in the RRS where the term boat does not mean "a sailboat and the crew on board".

    Significantly -
    1. rule 1.1 "A boat or competitor shall give all possible help to any person or VESSEL in danger"
    2 Introduction Part 2 " When a boat sailing under these rules meets a VESSEL that is not...
    3.rule 62.1(b) reads " injury or physical damage because of the action of a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 or of a VESSEL not racing that was required to keep clear"(my capitals - boat is used to mean a sailboat, anything else is a Vessel required to keep clear under COLREGS.

    In these instances RRS is remarkably consistent - boat is clearly defined, anything else is a vessel.

    So one could argue that when a sailboat collided with a vessel (for instance the finish boat!) the exception under rule 41(b) does not apply. The exception only applies to a collision between sailboats. Another Q&A?

    Grey Bear

  3. 'Cotinued)

    However, I cannot be the first to have thought about this as Q&A 2011-014 specifies that in rule 41(b) the "other boat" and in 42.3(g) "another boat" can mean "any vessel"

    So a boat = a sailboat

    a boat + a qualifier (which may be other boat or another boat) = a vessel

    Question - why not be consistent throughout!

    yours, pedantically

    Grey Bear

    1. Yep, if you study the rules long enough, you'll find these inconsistencies crop up, now and then.
      In rule 17 there is again 'the other boat', but there it definitely does not mean 'a vessel'
      And in the definition Proper Course, the rules use 'the other boats', likewise not vessels.....
      Go figure.

  4. Just to end this debate - the ISAF Racing Rules Committee have adopted a submission changing the wording of these two rules.


    Grey Bear


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