Thursday, 30 August 2012

The strange case of the (non)competitor

During a multi-class event locally, the PC came across a very strange case. I've changed names, numbers and classes, but left the facts as found. This kind of case is probably unique, but if you've run across anything similar, leave a comment.

A protest was delivered to the Race Office by a young sailor. Her Optimist was involved in an incident at a leeward mark where she capsized and lost several places. The PC scheduled and heard the protest in absence of the other party. It was a boat in a different class - a Contender.
Long story short; the Contender had broken rule 12, 18.2(b) and 14 and was disqualified.

After half an hour, between other hearings, the RC-person responsible for scoring, came into the protest room and told the panel that the Contender in the protest was not on her finish list nor on the starting list.As far a she was concerned, it hadn't competed!

After verifying the boat had entered the event - which was the case - the panel started to doubt if the Optimist perhaps had noted the wrong sail number?

After some deliberations a phone call was made to the Contender sailor and he confirmed that he was involved in the incident at the leeward mark. He was currently on his way home because the rest of the event he didn't have time to sail.

How come he wasn't on the starting- nor on the finish list?

The sailor answered that he had some problems with his boat after having sailed to the starting area and had returned ashore to do some repairs. He then sailed into the course following the rest and starting rounding marks. He however did not finish because he wanted to get his boat out before the rest came ashore.

The panel now faced the following question(s):
  • Was the Contender a competitor subject to the rules? 
  • Was the Contender racing ?
  • What penalty - if any - would be appropriate?

Continued after the break;

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