Wednesday 30 April 2008

Congressional Cup 2008

Yesterday the racing started at the Congressional Cup 2008 at Long Beach California. Results, pictures and soon a video are posted at the website: go here. When the boats are racing you can follow them trough live audio on the Internet.

Also on the same website a document called the 2008 Congressional Cup Program. It's large file (4.3 MB PDF), but you have to read it nevertheless. Some very interesting articles on the beginning of umpiring 20 years ago at the Long Beach Yacht Club and also a glimpse of the future with an electronic "pinkie", signalling overlap and "the zone". Also an interview with Chief Umpire Jan Stage and a couple of pages on the rules.

Look To Windward Readers Q&A | 3

A readers question from Andraz from Slovenia:

A boat loses her Y-flag during the pre-start. The umpires recover the floating flag. What now? :)

1/ Are they supposed to return it to the racing boat?
2/ Can the boat still protest without a flag?

My opinions are:

1/ No, the umpires must not interfere with the boats racing.
2/ The umpires should regard other actions of the crew to consider it as a valid protest against the other boats actions, such as hailing "protest" or flying a different flag, when the boats interact closely.

Competing in a match race and not be able to protest seems somewhat useless to me. Also, losing the Y-flag in the sea is not really "unseamanlike" handling of the boat, maybe it wasn't a fault on your own to lose the flag...

What do you suggest? Thank you for your time!
Regards, Andraz.

I mailed Andraz back. We agreed on putting it on the blog for all to consider.
Some of our first thoughts on the issue:
  • Is handing back the flag outside help? (RRS 41)
  • The possession of a Yankee - flag has no influence on the speed of the boat, so why not?
  • What if it wasn't a flag, but a spinnaker pole or a winch handle, would you then give it back?
  • The umpire manual says, the umpires should be of minimum disturbance to the competitors, also taking into regard the sound of the engine. Giving it back can have an disruptive influence.
  • Would you accept a call without a Yankee flag? I.e. shouting protest and waiving another flag?
  • Should the competitor avoid interaction with the other boat, if she is unable to protest?
Let us know your opinion.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Definitions | 11

(a) The rules in this book, including the Definitions, Race Signals, Introduction, preambles and the rules of relevant appendices, but not titles;
(b) ISAF Regulation 19, Eligibility Code; Regulation 20, Advertising Code; and Regulation 21, Anti-Doping Code;
(c) the prescriptions of the national authority, unless they are changed by the sailing instructions in compliance with the national authority’s prescription, if any, to rule 87;
(d) the class rules (for a boat racing under a handicap or rating system, the rules of that system are ‘class rules’);
(e) the notice of race;
(f) the sailing instructions; and
(g) any other documents that govern the event.

The fact that rules entail much more than the ones printed in the rulebook, is something we tend to forget. If you see the above list, the one who gives me headaches is the last one: (g) any other documents that govern the event. Up until now most sailors also forget that one, but I dread the moment that I have to disqualify someone for not parking his boat in the designated space or eating at the wrong table.

The one thing you can do, as a judge going to an event, is to make sure you read all of the above and specifically check them for biased or unreasonable rules. Most events on international level have a sailing instruction where the penalty for breaking none-racing related rules, is reduced and at the discretion of the jury. At least that means that you can avoid throwing someone out of a race when that is not warranted. If you find something that is clearly not intended, discuss it at the first jury meeting or with the chairman. There's always the notice board.

How are your experiences with this? Have you ever felt uncomfortable with a rule you had to enforce in "any other document that govern the event?"

Monday 28 April 2008

AC Timeline 1851-2008

If you're interested in the history of the AC, have a look at this post by Mark Wharton Reid.
Today's court-battle is but a footnote in a long history of extraordinary events surrounding the Cup.

Rule 16.1 ON or OFF?

When a boat enters the two BL zone clear ahead, it becomes the right of way boat. As long a she doesn't pass head to wind, she stays right of way boat, provided that BOTH boats are still rounding or passing the mark. Last years' Rapid Response Match Racing Call 2007/02 was about this issue. Even gybing in front of the trailing boat doesn't have an effect of who's right of way, as long as the latter is still passing the mark. An inside starboard boat does NOT become r-o-w boat.

So rule 18.2(c) is in effect and therefore rule 18.2(d) applies to the boat with r-o-w. RRS 18.2(d) switches rule 16.1 off, for that boat. Are you still with me?
What this does is: If you round the mark as a right of way boat, you don't have to worry about giving the other boat room, when you change course. You can change course as fast as you like, the other boat has to keep clear. But only for the course change needed to round the mark. If you suddenly go another way, 16.1 is still in effect. It is reasonable to expect the other boat to know which way you go round the mark, but not, if you don't do that.

The question we've been discussing in the umpire team at Calpe was:
When is rule 18.2(d) switched off, and therefore rule 16.1 back on?
Can the r.o.w. boat, for instance, luff all the way up to head to wind as fast as she pleases? If she does so immediately after rounding? I've made up a diagram to clarify:

If the leading boat can do this in match racing, she can lay a very effective trap for the trailing boat. Without a little 'protection' from rule 16.1, the latter barely has a change to keep clear.

When does 18.2(d) no longer apply?
Firstly, RRS 16.1 is back on, when RRS 18.2(c) is off. When both boats have passed the mark. In our situation that is when the trailing boat has passed the mark. From then on the leading boat can no longer change course without giving room to the other, to keep clear.

Is there a moment that, even with RRS 18.2(c) still on, the leading boat is no longer rounding or passing the mark, and therefore subject to 16.1?
Our discussion this was never really resolved. In these issues there's always the strict interpretation of the rule and an interpretation of what is fair and the rule perhaps should be. Calls are made from such issues.

In my own solution I came up with the idea to find an 'objective' criteria. Something that can be measured, if you like, and is repeatable for everyone. This is what I came up with:
Draw a line from the rounding mark to the next mark. Then draw a line perpendicular to that line. If the leading boat is pointing below that last line, she's still rounding that mark, if she pointing above that line - in effect going back to the mark just rounded - she's no longer rounding or passing the mark.

All luffing up, towards that line, are without rule 16.1, but if she luffs further - above that line - then 16.1 is back on and she should give the trailing boat room to keep clear. This also consistent with the recently published RR Team Race Call 2008/001.

Let me be perfectly clear. At this moment the rule does not say this. Rule 18.2(c) stays on, as long as both boats haven't passed the mark. Period.
It is up to the umpires to decide if the leading boat is still subject to 16.1 or not.

What is your opinion?

Sunday 27 April 2008

Yngling Class 1968 - 2008

9-10 augustus 2008, Sneekermeer

In 1967 kreeg de Noor Jan Herman Linge, die afgelopen jaar helaas is overleden, het idee om een kielboot te ontwerpen voor zijn zoon Oyvin. Gedurende de winter van 1967 werden de eerste mallen getrokken en al in de zomer van 1968 zeilden er 7 Ynglings.

De Yngling kreeg in 1979 internationale erkenning van de wereldzeilbond en in 2000 verkreeg zij de Olympische status als dameskielboot voor de Olympiade van Athene 2004. In Nederland heeft de Yngling de laatste jaren een enorme bloei doorgemaakt. Door de aanschaf van 8 clubboten door de Koninklijke Watersportvereniging Sneek en de sponsoring van Volvo en de daarmee samen hangende oprichting van het Volvo Talent Plan, zijn veel zeilers overgestapt in de Yngling.

Dit jaar viert de Yngling haar veertigste verjaardag. Dit willen wij graag vieren op 9 en 10 augustus 2008 tijdens een evenement op het Sneekermeer. Op vrijdagavond 8 augustus begint het feest met een borrel om 19.30 uur in It Foarunder op het starteiland. Deze borrel staat natuurlijk in het teken van Yngling 40 jaar, maar ook in het teken van het Volvo Talent Plan. Zaterdag en Zondag zijn wedstrijddagen. De wedstrijden worden georganiseerd door de KWS in samenwerking met de Yngling Club Holland. Op zaterdagavond is er een groots Yngling 40 jaar feest inclusief buffet en live band!

Wil je dit fantastische Yngling feest beleven? Stuur dan z.s.m. een email met je naam (stuurman en bemanning), zeilnummer en emailadres naar Hidde-Jan Haven:

Het inschrijfgeld voor het evenement inclusief buffet en feest is €60,- per team. Yngling fans zonder team kunnen zich natuurlijk ook inschrijven. We gaan in dat geval kijken wat we kunnen doen. In beperkte mate zijn er boten te huren door deelnemers.


The Yngling class celibrates it's 40 birthday this year! The Dutch Yngling Class is planning an event at my club with parties and sailing on August 8th till 10th 2008. If you want to join us use the E-mail mentioned in the post. There are a limited number of Ynglings available for hire if you want to race, but you can also just come for the party on Saterday-evening/night

Saturday 26 April 2008

The Blog under the Rainbow

Thanks to a post on Blogger Buster by Amanda, I've made a start in creating an 'Archives page.' Hopefully it will show people how to navigate this blog and help them find what they are looking for. It's a work in progress, still "Under Construction", but don't let that stop you from using it: Look to Windward Archives (UC)

ISAF finally came true. I'm linked on there website here. I've already notified my fellow bloggers to apply for a link as well, because it's lonely there. To celebrate this I've put up a new intro-picture with three Regenbogen (Rainbows) sailing in their bi-annual Team Race.

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Winging it | 2

First part on Winging can be found here.

During the rest of the pre-start the wing boat has limited possibilities to be of use. Generally the boats move so fast, circling and changing course, that it is impossible to be always in the right position. The best a Wing can do, is to be in position for a couple of crucial calls. That is if they have enough insight to anticipate where boats are going. The Wing stays to windward of the boats and will try to disturb the water as little as possible. They do call when a boat gybes, at the moment the boom passes midships with "boom" and when the mainsail is filled with "complete". And of course the overlap or clear, if they are in a good enough position to see.
In the final minute when boats will sail back to the starting line, the Wing takes a position to leeward of the boats to call the overlap. Mainly to inform the umpires of a possible hook-up, near the starting line.

If the wing doesn't peel off to do the entry and pre-start of the next match and stays with the starting boats, it will take a position to the right of the umpire boat following the boat on the right side of the course. In the beat the wing will always stay to the right, switching boats if they cross. This is because they give information to the umpires about the Starboard tack boat when approaching a Port tack boat.

There are two possible crossings that need input:
The first is when there's a collision course between Port and Starboard or Port crosses just astern. Because the Umpires follow the Port tack boat to leeward and slightly behind, they are not in an ideal position to see if the Starboard tack boat does or does not change course. Port is keep clear boat and must respond to the pending collision. But if the Starboard tack boat changes course, rule 16.1 is applicable and Port has must be given room to keep clear. So the Wing gives information on Starboards course by telling the umpires if they are "holding" or changing course "up" or "down".
Additionally the Wing is then also in the right position to see - in case of a slam dunk - the precise moment the overlap begins. Important for the umpires to determine of rule 17 is on or off.

The second crossing is when Port is likely to cross in front of Starboard. If it's close, Port might decide to tack at the last moment. Again with the wing behind the Starboard tack boat they call on the radio the precise moment they see the bow of Starboard pointing at the bow of Port. Usually preceded by "Stand by for Bow to Bow" then "Bow to Bow"...."Now". By calling bow to bow, the umpires can judge the distance between the boats at that precise moment and determine if Port will likely cross or not. If the distance is one boat length or less, Port cannot cross without breaking RRS 10 and is then not keeping clear. If the distance is greater than one boat length, they might get away with it. Possible to tack windward of Starboard.

If boats are far apart the Umpire will usually stay with the trailing boat. In match racing however, the penalty for touching a mark is Umpire initiated. The wing therefore follows the leading boat and stays close when that boat rounds. If there's an infringement of RRS 31.1 they signal the Umpire boat, who then can give the penalty. Additionally they can inform the Umpires - if the leading boat has an outstanding penalty - when that penalty is taken.

Next time in "Winging it" part 3: The run, the leeward mark and the finish.

Friday 25 April 2008

Rapid Response Call 2008/001

A new Rapid Response Call 2008 001 for Team Racing has been posted in the ISAF website.
It's about the - by now familiar - problem of application of RRS 16.1 for the right of way boat while rounding a mark.
To download the call-sheet go here

Definitions | 10

A little out of sync, but nevertheless a few notes on:

Protest An allegation made under rule 61.2 by a boat, a race committee or a protest committee that a boat has broken a rule.

A protest is against a boat - not against the helm or crew. A boat is disqualified or exonerated, not the person. You can't protest the race committee, nor organizing authority. If you have a problem with them, request redress. To do a successful protest there a couple of "must does", a couple of "would be good to do" and a couple of "don't s". To start with the latter:

  • shout, curse, blame or otherwise engage in inappropriate behavior. Emotional is ok, upset is 'fine', but not angry or threatening.
  • tell lies. First of all you will get caught and then serious things will start to happen, to the extent that you can be banned from competing. And secondly, it is suppose to be a sport, a competition, not a matter of live and death. It is not worth lying about.

  • to have a decent preparation. Most sailors go in and expect the PC to believe them, no matter what. There are always two sides to a story and even though the other is telling the truth as they saw it, it can be totally different. If you need time to prepare, ask for it, it must be given (within reasonable limits). Oh, ask for a copy of the form!
  • to have some basic understanding of the process and how to present your case. A polite person with normal appearance, will be more "simpatico."
  • to look at PC-member when you are trying to convince them. Look into their eyes and see if your argument is getting across. Watch your body-language!
  • if you can, to talk the lingo. Use the language of the rules, get the PC to understand that you know them.

  • have hailed "protest" on the water at the other boat. Not "He you, do your turns", not "F.. Ba...." or words to that effect. No, only "Protest" at the first reasonable moment. "thisisthethirdtimehehasfouledmeprotesttingistogoodforhimandiwantmymommy" does not constitute a proper hail.
  • - if your boat is six meters or longer - fly a red flag conspicuously, not a red hat or a red bailing scoop.
  • describe the incident on a piece of paper including when and where. Preferably on a protest form, but on a piece of cardboard if needed. Find out the sail number or name of the boat you are protesting, before the hearing starts and all other things, like your name, your boat, rules broken, can etc be added/corrected during the hearing if need be.
  • hand in your protest before the end of protest-time, or have a good reason not to. And a good reason is not first taking a shower or clearing your boat for the night.
Remember, a protest is - before it is decided - only an allegation. If the PC finds that your boat has broken a rule, she will be disqualified.

Thursday 24 April 2008

Seaweed & Roses

New rules-article in Sailing World by Dick Rose
Checkmate in the Kelp Beds

I'm not sure I agree that the backing boat did enough to keep clear:

"I repeatedly hailed Interloper asking them to avoid us," said Kelpie's helmsman. "But she kept coming at us, and at the last minute, I put my tiller hard to port in an effort to avoid contact. I was unsuccessful. We hit Interloper topsides."

What did he do before he put his tiller down to port?

But I agree with the principle. The other boat created the situation and must give room to keep clear under rule 16.1

International Umpire Seminar Part 1

I went to Lugano in 2007, from 14th till the 18th of March together with another IJ from the Netherlands. Because the decision to go was made (beginning of February), after I was sure I could not go to Denmark in September, I didn't have much time to prepare. The IUSC insisted on fulfilling all requirements for applications, before the first of September cut-off date. Going to the Denmark Seminar in September - which I would have preferred - would mean another year waiting to apply. Something I wasn't prepared to do. So short end sweat: Lugano in March!
I managed to cram a lot of study in that final month. And I needed it. Like an IJ-Seminar the pace is very high in the classroom and the test is hard. The umpire skill needed on the water is fast and furious!

In this post and a following post, I will tell you about my experiences at that seminar, the mistakes I made and the people I encountered. I realize that each Seminar is different in location and event, but some of the features I experienced, will be also in any other IU Seminar. Oh, this year so far, only one seminar is planned, from 4 till 8 June in Poland.

To start, IU Seminars are basically the same as IJ Seminars with an event added, for on the water umpiring. Unlike for IJ the IU sub committee wants potential umpires to be assessed by specific people. They appoint them on a yearly basis, a group of 10 very experienced Umpires. Six of them are also Seminar-Instructors. Recently ISAF is actively looking for new people to train as seminar instructors and assessors.

To apply for IU you need at least one positive assessment by one of those 10 umpires. At a seminar there are two and they assess everybody. If you've fail, you can then ask ISAF for another assessment, at an event you are already assigned to and someone from the assessors is also present. If you can get a positive assessment at a seminar you don't need another. One is enough!

Back to Lugano. It's a beautiful place with a brand spanking new club accommodation. Run by friendly people and great enthusiasm for the event. Our hotel was a five minute walk from the club and everything was set to go. Go? Stay put, you mean. Two day's in the classroom going over the manual, calls, rules and what not. Beautiful weather outside and we end up cooped up inside. This is unavoidable I suppose. In the classroom many subjects are reviewed, most of them not in the manual. It is expected that you have already studied that in detail. More about conduct and behavior, how to communicate and teamwork. All presentations and exercises are done in English with paperwork to do individually and in groups.

After these sessions we did the test on the second day around four in the afternoon. Multiple choice questions about rules of part 2 and everything else. If you didn't understand the question or had remarks, you could add those. They were then to be discussed in the debrief. To avoid misunderstandings if you didn't 'get' what the question was about. Making good questions is very difficult, and I had a lot of remarks, but none that influenced my answers.

Time alloted for the test is 1:30 hours. People with English as their mother tongue had 15 minutes shorter than everybody else. I finished with time to spare, but not much. You need to practice how to do test-questions in English, otherwise you will not be able to do them in the time alloted. My fellow IJ ran out of time and couldn't finish, so he didn't pass, while I know he has a better RRS knowledge than me.

With 11 candidates some of us had to wait before we were called for that debrief, and I was one of the last. This meant a night agonizing about my answers, because I was only debriefed the next day in the afternoon. Coming out of the classroom I was full of confidence, after a sleepless night and a day on the water, I was not. Thinking back, I shouldn't have doubted my first impression, but there you go. That is what happens after an exam. I passed with a 90% score with only five wrong of fifty answers. Of those, two were just stupid mistakes, because I didn't read the question or forgot to tick another box. Overall good enough though, a passing score is 80%. My advice - easily given, but hard to follow, I know - is to stop worrying once you've done it. It doesn't change the outcome one iota.

Next time: The water part of the seminar.

NEW: JKW Poznan Match Race Event

I received an E-mail from a fellow umpire in Poland: Boguslaw Moczorodynski, which might be of intrest to match race teams. A new event:
Dear friends,

Our Club- JKW Poznan has this year 75th anniversary, we have a lot of sailing traditions generally in fleet racing. Now we are going to step in to new competition, Match Racing.

On 13-14 June we are going to organize Match Race Gr3 which is a part of Polish Match Tour series. The venue JKW Club- Kiekrz Lake only 15 minutes by car from Poznan Airport, which has good and cheap flight connection with: London, Frankfurt, Munich, Dormtmund. Berlin is 270km by car. Boats used- SKIPPI 650 Match; main, jib and genaker, 3 person crew

Therefore I`d kindly ask you to circulate this message into your matchracers, maybe some of them are interested in and would like to take part in our event. Our Match Race is in ISAF events calendar. Further I will send more details. The Chief Umpire is Lorenz Walch, well known IU from GER.

I`d appreciate your help, with my best regards,
Boguslaw Moczorodynski IJ, NU (POL)
Przezmierowo POLAND

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Farr 40 Worlds Protest UPDATE

After the audio commentary in this post about the Farr 40 Worlds Protest, Sailkarma has a video of the final day. In the first quarter of the footage I think this incident was partly caught on film.

You can see JF tack in front of BM, completing her tack inside the zone. We can't see what happened before or that any hails were made. I think BM completed her tack and then luffed to avoid JF, which means that JF broke rule 18.3.

That is however not what the Jury decided. Here is their decision.

Do we need cameras at the windward mark?

Tuesday 22 April 2008

Three minutes

"Good afternoon" the chairman said: "Please have seat"
"You are here for protest number 7?" He continued.

"Yes" said the tall guy in the red shirt pulling back a chair opposite me.
"Yea" was the response of the other.

"Can I have your names and sail numbers, please?" the chairman said, while his pen was already scribbling on the back of the protest form.

"I'm Peter from 678211" Red said. He looked at the other guy.
"My name is Boris, I sail Star 688297" spoke the other, slouching his also lanky frame in a chair.

"Right, thank you" the chairman leaned over the table; "Let me introduce the members of this panel"
"On my right is Jos from Netherlands and on my left is Ynte from Finland. My name is Bat from Great Britain" He pointed: "Behind you is Xant, who's here as an observer."

"Do either of you have any objections to members of this panel?"

He's certainly not wasting much time, I thought.

The guy in red - Peter - shook his head. Boris looked up: "What do you mean?"

"I asked if you had any objections that we three in this panel, hear this protest, do you think we are an interested party?" Bat answered.

"No?" Boris sounded hesitant.

"Have you ever been in a protest hearing before?" asked the chairman


"You can object to members of the panel, if you think they can't be impartial, because of a conflict of interest. Have you ever met any of us before?

"No, I don't know you" Boris answered. "If you don't know Peter, I don't have any objections"

The chairman shook his head and looked at me.
"I haven't met Peter nor Boris before" I answered.
"Neither have I" said Ynte

"Ok, thank you" the chairman looked at the protest form.

He continued: "Before we go into what happened on the water, we need to go over the validity of the protest. Peter, your boat has been protested by Boris, do you have any problems with the validity?"

I sat up straight, this was something new.

"No" Peter said.

"Boris?" continued the chairman.

"No" Boris answered.

"Then let's go over what happened. I have a couple of model boats, you are the blue boat, Boris and Peter's boat is the red one.... Boris will you tell us ...."

I looked at my watch. Three minutes!. From entering the room to the situation in three minutes! Hello! This is the fastest I've ever gotten to this part.
What happened?

In this scenario you - the reader - are the observer. After the hearing the chairman talks to you and asks you your opinion of whether the introductory proceedings were adequate. Is this a proper way to start a hearing?

I've made this post in collaboration with Brass who's been commenting on my posts frequently. Thanks, Brass!

Monday 21 April 2008

Umpire Call (8) and RRS 2

I received a mail analyzing Umpire Call (8) and MOB revisited from Brass. Because I think this is a good contribution to our discussion, I've posted his mail below:


Shown below are some responses I wrote to Umpire Call 8. My comments on sportsmanship are also relevant to Fair Play and RRS 2. Perhaps a renewed thread on RRS 2 might be good?

Looking at Jos' later post, 10 foot waves, I agree that Y was 'rescuing', the mob who is 'in danger', so rule 21 applies.

My understanding has always been that rule 21 switches off all Part 2 obligations for the boat concerned, so if rule 21 applies Y is not obliged to keep clear of B.

Mike B or anyone else: can you cite a case to the contrary?
I think Adrian is right: Green.

What is B's obligation under rule 21? It is NOT to 'keep clear' of Y. It is to 'avoid' Y. B changed course and did not contact Y, therefore B 'avoided' Y. B did not break rule 21. Perhaps if the umpires formed a view that it was 'only by a miracle' that B did not contact Y or injure the mob, then I could be persuaded that she had not avoided and had broken rule 21.
Jos saw it: was it that bad?

I always get the shivers when people start talking rules 2/69. These are 'thought-crime' rules. We have spent many years developing the RRS so that they depend as much as possible on observable behavior, not on inferred mental states.

Generally rules penalise boats for what they do, not what they were thinking, regardless whether the action is due to bad seamanship, lack of knowledge of the rules, or misjudgment. I think Pat starts down the right path by saying that rule 2 does not come into play unless "[Blue's] actions were flagrant and deliberate". I think we need to go a bit further than
that: we need to be able to show that some action, even though it may have broken a rule, been unwise, put another competitor at a disadvantage or whatever, broke those unwritten "recognised principles of sportsmanship and fair play" that RRS 2 calls up.

Note, by the way, that umpires are not permitted to penalise a boat for breaking rule 2 (RRS C8.4) Umpires act against 'breach of sportsmanship' under RRS C8.3.

In particular, if a boat acts while genuinely believing that she is entitled to act that way under the RRS, then I don't think that she has broken the principles of sportsmanship and fair play. It is a recognised principle of sportsmanship and fair play in sailing that a boat may exploit the rules. In fact that is what Match Racing is all about.

While a boat that races without knowing the rules, and breaks Part 2 rules because she couldn't be bothered trying to learn them is a good candidate for rule 2, You can't say that not knowing or not correctly applying a fairly obscure rule like rule 21 directly implies a breach of sportsmanship.

In this case, if B luffed up on Y because B failed to appreciate that rule 21 applied and believed that she was entitled to attack Y under rule 11, then I can't see any breach of sportsmanship.

If the umpires saw something to show them that B was trying to do something unsporting, such as trying to scare the crew of Y, or injure the mob or some other crew, then, of course they should be reaching for the black flag, but I think that you have to have positive evidence of a breach of sportsmanship that you can put into words (at least afterwards). As an umpire (or judge) You CAN'T, in my opinion, argue that a boat did something, and that you do not know of any other reason or excuse, therefore you conclude that their intention was unsporting.

I don't agree with Pat's suggestion that the effect of rule 47.2 is that Y is somehow not 'racing'. The last words of rule 47.2 are 'continues in the race', NOT 'continues _to_ race'. I understand 'continues' here to mean 'continues along the race course', not 'continues in the state of racing'.

I also disagree with Pat when he says "Further, if Yellow is forced by Blue's aggressive actions into evasive maneuvers and must interrupt rescue efforts, that is evidence that Blue is violating RRS 2." See my argument above: if B genuinely thinks that she is entitled to attack Y, there is no breach of sportsmanship, and you cannot validly deduce B's state of mind by her aggressive actions alone.

I don't agree that B may have broken rule 1.1. You just can't turn an obligation to give help into an obligation not to hinder. Jos, do you have a case on this?

I can't generally agree with 'Safety First' See rule 4. There is no rule that requires 'safe sailing'. We're umpires, not seagoing safety officers.

Coming to Mike's comments:

I cannot imagine how Y could have "had a man overboard to enable her to gain an advantage over blue" - Mike, can you describe a scenario? - then penalize yellow. RRS 2

Mike is not correct to say "If Yellow had a man overboard otherwise than by accident then penalize yellow RRS 47.2"

Firstly, I think it is always a reasonable presumption that a mob has left unintentionally. Rule 47.2 also allows a person to leave to swim. Doubtless the mob was swimming. Once again we are venturing into the difficult area of 'thought crime': What evidence can the umpires possibly have about the mob's intentions?

Secondly, umpires can't penalise for breaking rule 47 (rule C8.4)

Mike raises an interesting point when he says "[Yellow] is in breach of RRS 11 and can only be exonerated under RRS 64.1(b) this refers to another boat compelling her to break a rule. No other boat compelled her to break a rule and thus she cannot be exonerated.

This analysis of rule 64 makes sense to me, but In light of my comment at the head of this post, that rule 21 should be taken to switch off other Part 2 obligations, I don't think we need to go there.



I myself was not one of the umpires for this incident, but it happened in Calpe and the circumstances where 10 foot waves and half a meter distance. The discussion in Umpire team afterwards was about these issues.

RRS 1.1 states that a boat or competitor SHALL give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger. That certainly means it shouldn't engage when a boat is recovering a mob, in my opinion. From case 20: "A boat in a position to help another that may be in danger is bound to do so."
I think there's also an appeal case were a boat didn't stand by, when another was in danger, but continued racing. She was then disqualified for breaking rule 1.1. I'll try to find it.

I don't think rule 21 switches off any obligations of part 2. If a boat capsizes it may be physically impossible to keep clear and therefore she's not penalized, but if she does nothing - not even when she's able to - she might. Rescue comes first, the whole rulebook is off - including 42 - when that is needed. But if a starboard tack boat hits a port tack boat, which is capsized, she might be breaking rule 21, but the other is still breaking rule 10.

Brass' analysis is correct in stating that it is very hard to determine intention of the blue boat. Was she or was she not aware of the Yellow's mob and the danger she put him in?
I rather err on the side of caution in this one....

Farr 40 Worlds Protest

Protest decides final outcome of Farr 40 Worlds in Miami. From Scuttlebutt 2579:

" By all witness accounts, Joe Fly seriously overplayed their hand at the weather mark situation. They were on the port tack layline, with Barking Mad ahead and to leeward, also on port. Barking Mad tacked to starboard on layline, with Mascalzone near but slightly overstanding the mark on starboard. As Joe Fly approached Barking Mad, the Italians delayed their tack to make sure they were on layline, but ended up tacking too close to the Americans, who then luffed hard to avoid collision. Barking Mad didn’t want their protest to decide the Worlds, but offered to witness when Mascalzone did file a protest. The Pro Sight Sailing website has a great audio explanation of the situation by commentator Matt Ciesicki: "

Can you identify which rules were broken, according to the audio commentary?

Sunday planning

For those of you who were waiting for the next installment of Amorita vs Sumurun, please be patient. My Sunday plans were throw askew by an invitation to visit friends and I spent the day away from my computer, getting home very late.

I did check "my source" who keeps an eye at the court, but apparently only motions were filed back and forth, trying to get the case thrown out. No decisions by a judge as of yet. I recall that the owners of Sumurun claimed in their appeals that the PC lacked jurisdiction and that the protest shouldn't have been heard, that the courts should determine liability. It seems they have since changed their minds.... the court shouldn't hear this either.

I'm analyzing the NoR and the SI and the impact on this case is not yet clear to me, although several principles of the RRS were changed drastically. I'm sorry not to have finished. I will get there eventually, promised!

Saturday 19 April 2008

Winging it | 1

When umpiring the most difficult part of the "job" is to be in a position where you can see what the rule infringement is. To be at the right place at the right moment. This involves anticipation of what the sailors will do, quick reactions and skill with the rubber boat. But even if you can do all these things perfectly, it is impossible to be at the right place all the time. Simply because sometimes you need to be at two places at once. This is where the wing comes in. In the wing a driver and a designated umpire communicate to the match umpires by arm signals or by radio, relevant information. They are the second set of eyes the umpires need to get a three-dimensional picture.

Positioning of the wing boat is - as with the umpire boat - the key to successful 'winging'. Generally speaking the wing boat needs to be at a right angle from the boats related to the position of the umpire boat. When the latter is behind to look at the distance between the boats, the wing is beside the boats to look for the overlap. When boats cross, the umpire boat is with the port tack boat, and the wing with the starboard tacker.
First of all they signal if there is, or there is not, an overlap between boats. If by radio they use: "Clear" or "Overlap", usually with a distance added: "Clear half a boat length" or "Clear one meter". When signaling overlap they also add a distance; "Overlap bow to bow" indicating boats are next to each other with bows at the same 'hight', or "Overlap, 2 meters". By adding the distances to the information, umpires can quickly understand if an overlap is going to be broken or established.

Match racing starts at the four minute signal, when boats enter. The first encounter is usually a port and starboard encounter. Unless one of the boats is late or otherwise not able to go at four minutes, the Yellow boat on starboard tack will try to "go" for the Blue boat on port tack. The wing boat starting position is to windward off the starting vessel or committee mark at a right angle to the starting line to check early entry of the Yellow boat. Once that has been done the wing has to give information to the umpires about the direction Yellow is pointing. To do that, the wing motors to a position behind/besides the Yellow boat, so that his line of vision goes trough the helmsman of the Yellow boat looking at Blue. That way the wing can tell if Yellow is 'aiming' at Blue or steering a course above or below.
Once Yellow steers a course at Blue, the latter has an obligation to keep clear and is obliged to take action. If Yellow is aiming at Blue and holding it's course while Blue does nothing, and at the end is forced to avoid the Blue boat, they have not kept clear and when a call is made, will be penalized. If Yellow is not aiming at Blue she's keeping clear and does not have to take action. Even when Yellow is aiming at Blue from some distance and Blue is changing course but Yellow follows - keeps aiming - Blue has no protection from RRS 15, only from RRS 16.1. In short, at the first entry the most important information the wing can give is the course of Yellow relative to Blue.

When boats end this first encounter in a 'dail-up' the wing boat is beside them relaying information about the overlap. Because of the low speed and the proximity of the umpire boat, this is however not the most important piece of information. It is the speed of the boats through the water, specially if they go backward. That is something the wing can see from its position much easier than the umpires. When sails are backed it is sometimes crucial to know if a boat has begun moving backward to determine right of way.

Next time in "Winging it" part 2: The rest of the prestart, the beat and the windward mark.

Friday 18 April 2008

'Flog the Blog' Day (5)

Since last month the number of visitors and subscribers has gone up. I find this very encouraging, thank you all!
But it also means that I get more mails and more inquiries about issues. Could I spend my 'blogging time' for the most part on writing posts in the past, no longer. 50% of that time is spend on answering mails and doing research or looking for "stuff" to answer those mails. That's fine too, but while I spend more and more time doing rules, the blog isn't updated. My daily post goal hasn't been met in the last four weeks. Can't see any change in that, unless I accept to spend even more time behind a keyboard.

I've been pestering people I know at the ISAF office, for a link on the rules pages of their website. And been answered they would do it, but it hasn't happened as of yet.. I'm low on the totem-pole, understandable. If it does eventually happen, traffic will increase even more.

One of the things I need, is some sort of introductory page telling visitors what they can find and how. Instead of going trough 200+ post individually. I need to have a more friendly way, to have them navigate trough. I've already made a small start by a couple of directory pages and a page with all posts, searchable by tags. Perhaps I need a directory structure for different topics on the main page. Perhaps I need to increase tags for each post. I'll have a look around how other bloggers deal with this issue.

Some new projects/ideas:
  • Pay some attention on 'people skills' in the protest-room, maybe even do something with 'role-playing'
  • Talk about my IU-seminar experiences.
  • Invite PC-members to write about interesting cases they come across this summer. That means YOU!
  • Translate some of the Dutch appeals into English and publish them.
  • Do a couple of "back posts" drawing attention to posts I've done in the first couple of months.
Continued will be:
  • Protest questions and exercises,
  • Umpire Calls,
  • Links to websites and interesting articles I come across,
  • A few editorials.
If any of you have suggestions, please don't hesitate to mail/comment

Thursday 17 April 2008

Olympic Solution?

In the coming ISAF conference the major issue will be to decide which sailing disciplines will participate in the Olympics 2012. Since last November's conference everybody is blaming everybody for the choices that have been made. Multi hull sailors are up in revolt, keel boat ladies don't know if they can start preparing for match racing or not, Council members are questioned about there voting and committees have to re-determine what 'urgent' means.
Instead of cooperating to keep sailing as an Olympic sport - which is difficult enough with the demands of the media - we squabble and fight among each other. Even Scuttlebutt is running a poll! All democratic and above board, I'm sure. But does it help to promote sailing? I don't think so. We look like AC teams fighting about the bones.

Since sailing is so diverse and has so many different ways to practice and enjoy, I would suggest an alternative way to break the impasse:
Within the 10 events of the Olympic regatta, alternate half between different disciplines. In 2012 we do the more keel boats and match racing and in 2016 we do multi hulls and skiffs. Or visa versa.

Pick a core of 5 or 6 for every Olympic and change the others to reflect new and old. At least then we can accommodate more, instead of less.
It is not ideal - I would prefer to have 16 events - but at least more sailors get the change to compete.

Eenvoudige Wedstrijdregels - Vertaling

In samenwerking met de RMC is er een vertaling tot stand gekomen van de 'Introductory Racing Rules' die de ISAF vorige maand heeft gepubliceerd.
Je kunt het persbericht op de site van het Watersportverbond lezen in de nieuwsbrief van April

Beide documenten kun je ook downloaden:
Introductory Racing Rules V1.01.pdf
Eenvoudige Wedstrijdregels NED 1.01 Maart 2008.pdf

Omdat dit een experiment is en de uitwerking / toepassing nog niet in "het veld" is gedaan, is het erg belangrijk dat ervaringen - zowel positief als negatief - worden doorgegeven.
In Nederland is de contactpersoon daarvoor:

Deze zal de evaluaties verzamelen en doorgeven aan de ISAF.
Mocht je dingen tegenkomen die je eerder aan anderen wilt doorgeven, of gewoon om te vertellen hoe het is gegaan, stuur dan een mailtje naar en dan maak ik er een berichtje over.

There's a Dutch translation available of last months ISAF publication: Introductory Racing Rules.
If you use them, I would very much appreciate that you send me your evaluation, so others can benefit from your positive or negative experiences.

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Definitions | 9

Party A party to a hearing: a protestor; a protestee; a boat requesting redress; a boat or a competitor that may be penalized under rule 69.1; a race committee or an organizing authority in a hearing under rule 62.1(a).

When a boat, person, PC or OA become a party they have certain rights but also obligations. All these are specified in Part 5 of the RRS. For example only a party to a hearing may appeal a decision of a protest committee. If you've been affected by a redress hearing, because another boat has been placed above you in the scoring list, you cannot appeal that decision. You first have to request redress to the PC, in so doing become a party, and if that decision isn't what you want or think is correct, appeal.
A boat becomes a party either by protesting or being protested. The race committee or organizing authority become parties when a boat request redress, claiming that an improper action or omission by the RC or OA made their score significantly worse.

A party may bring witnesses to a hearing. It is not the PC who decides if a witness is to be heard, no, that is up to the party. They must however be available when called. That does not mean making a telephone call and arriving after 20 minutes. Available is next door, direct. A witness can become a party if the PC suspect a rule infringement by that boat. They must then first protest that boat, give her time to prepare and then continue with the hearing.

Parties have the right to be present when evidence is presented to the PC. They may question all witnesses and have a right to speak. The PC may direct the format, but may not exclude a party. If a party doesn't come to the hearing, provided all notices were correctly published, the PC may proceed without a party present. If later you can show that you could not attend because of a valid reason, the PC may reopen.

A written statement by a witness is usually not accepted, unless both parties agree. You can't question a piece of paper. If a party brings a tape of photographs to the hearing, it is up to the PC to determine if that evidence is accepted. In my experience most video's are not good enough, to far away, not on the line or otherwise inconclusive, to help in a hearing. But some of them do.

Only a party to a hearing may request a written report of the protest with facts found, conclusions and decision. Something you need if you want to appeal.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Calpe revisited

Some pictures I took at the V Open de España Match Race event in Calpe
(I must remember to take more) Go to Flickr here

20 Years of Umpiring at CC2008

Read about the beginning of umpiring at the Congressional Cup in 1988
Article in Scuttlebut News: Congressional Cup 2008

Monday 14 April 2008

Picture this | 2

Returning to last weeks post where I asked to draw a picture of the facts stated, Brass send me this mail:

I deduce that the bank is on the boats' port side, because if it was to starboard and K became overlapped between the bank and R on Port tack, then R would not be able to luff into K.

Have I got that right?
I think that that sort of context information, which takes 'a thousand words' is what diagrams are really useful for.

My only question then is: When K became overlapped between R and the bank, was there room for K to pass between R and the obstruction?
If Yes, R (Right of Way boat, RRS 11) was obliged to give K room to pass between R and the obstruction (RRS 18.5), and R was obliged to give K room to keep clear when R changed course (taking into account the closeness of the obstruction). K ended up in the mud, indicating that she did not have room to keep clear, there was contact, indicating that R did not give room to keep clear and that it was not reasonably possible for K to avoid contact. There was damage, so R is not protected from RRS 14. R breaks RRS 16.1, 18.5 and 14. DSQ R.
K breaks RRS 11 but K is compelled to break the rule by R failing to give her room. Exonerate K.

If No, when K becomes overlapped inside R, as well as being obliged to keep clear by RRS 11, K is also obliged to keep clear under RRS 18.5. HOWEVER, R is obliged to give K room when R changes course (RRS 16.1) (taking into account the closeness of the obstruction) and to avoid contact (RRS 14). K breaks RRS 11, and 18.5. DSQ K. R breaks RRS 16.1 and 14, DSQ R.


In the list of facts I stated there where two missing:
One was found by Brass in his answer. The space between the shore and K at the moment R established an overlap.
The other is: What was the distance between the boats when R got the overlap.
If that was too close, R broke rule 15 and K may be exonerated for 16.1

According to the diagram drawn we have to go with Brass' first set of conclusions.

Sunday 13 April 2008

MOB revisited

I've been told my description in yesterday's post about Umpire Call 8 wasn't all that clear and I should draw a diagram. I apologies for that, it was late Friday-evening when I wrote it, after a full day on the water and late dinner after.
I've returned home safely from Spain and am catching up with mails and posts.

Here's the diagram from Umpire Call (8):
Blue engages while Yellow has a man over board at her leeward side.
There are 10 foot waves moving boats up and down.

So my original question still stands: what is your decision?

I had hoped to be able to work on Amorita vs Sumurun last week, but the papers have been to Spain and back unopened. I'll try to get it ready for next Sunday.

Saturday 12 April 2008


In the pre start Yellow and Blue end up in a dial up. Both head to wind, about half a boat length apart. They slip back and end up both close hailed on starboard tack. For some reason the windward boat (Yellow) looses a crew member overboard. The others are helping him back on board. At that moment Blue from leeward comes up, but has to bear down because Yellow is not responding. Blue however closes to Yellow at a very short distance (half a meter) and then puts up his Yankee-flag.

What is your decision?

Umpire Calls Directory

Friday 11 April 2008

Buenos Dias Calpe

My Spanish days are - of course - quite different than normal days. It feels like holiday, although I'm putting in more hours than on a normal working day.

Breakfast in the hotel or at the club 08:30 or 09:00. Umpire meeting at 09:30, briefing with the sailors at 10:00 and on the water by 11:00. Leesurly enough, don't you think?
But then the fun starts. Flights of four matches back to back - wind willing, until 19:00 or even 20:00 hours. Because the wind hasn't been that reliable we do have the occasionally break to take a drink or a bite to eat. Now, I'm not complaining, I'm enjoying myself.
We come of the water and are finished for the day, except to have a few drinks at the bar, to eat a nice meal at the club's restaurant and talk about life, the pursuit of happiness and - how can it be anything else - discuss umpiring and the rules.

As with an International Jury the differences that divide us, are the things that are fascinating. And amazingly never stronger than the rules that bind us. Not long before the boats are on the table and calls are made. One of the things I personally enjoy very much, is finding out about the other persons. Some you know a little trough previous regattas, others you meet for the first time. But all have a different background, with different stories to tell and different strong and less strong points. With different culture and perspective.

If anything other than the love for sailing and the rules, is bringing you to an 'international' career, it should be that. Where else can join a meal with a Brit, a Welshman, a German, couple of Spanish people and a Chinese girl? And two seats down an Australian and a guy from Portugal are talking with the Spanish RO.

If you can master the language, go for it!

Wind has been difficult, this afternoon in a shitty wing boat with 4 meter waves was 'challenging' but I'm having the time of my life.

Buenos Notches, I'm off to bed. tomorrow another day under the Calpe rock!

Thursday 10 April 2008

Not a definition but should be?

Hailing: A Hail is a meaningful word or string of words capable of being heard in the prevailing conditions by the occupants of the boat to which it is addressed.

This sentence is from a book by Bryan Willis; 2005-2008 The Rules in Practice. Hailing is not a defined term in the rulebook, but this is a useful definition supported by appeal cases. There are only two rules in the book which require you to hail, when you want to use them. Can you name the rules without looking them up?

On the Yachting South Australia website I found an article about it from 2003. As we had a new rule cycle in 2005 maybe some of the finer points are no longer valid, but the general principle has not changed. You can read it here: HAILING - How, When & Why

This article was part of a series of newsletters with News & Information produced by the Racing Rules Committee of Yachting SA. It seems to be discontinued shortly after # 7, which is a pity.
From what I could find, these news items and rules interpretations seem certainly worthwhile to pick up again.

How about it, Bruces?

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Serious Damage and Mayhem

In the NYYC Judges Round Table there was a discussion about the definition of "serious damage" in the Racing Rules of Sailing.

From the report:
" In the open session, Rule 44.1 brought the most conversation. Many were interested in discussion on "serious damage". We never reached a consensus but agreed that the term might apply differently to events of different types, where one might consider intrinsic value, and a different event might rely on the ability to continue sailing, or safety issues. Something that needs to be discussed with the OA for guidance prior to an event perhaps."

This is what the IJ Manual says about damage:

11. Damage and Injury
These important words are used in conjunction with four rules and despite their importance; there is very little case law to guide a jury as to their
• Damage
Rule 14(b), penalize a boat for contact that causes damage
• Serious damage
Rule 44.1, taking a penalty for a part 2 infringement
• Physical damage
Rule 62.1(b), granting redress
• Serious damage or serious injury
Rule 60.3, protest brought by a protest committee

11.1 Damage
There is no definition of exactly what constitutes damage; however ISAF Case 19 makes some suggestions:
• was the market value diminished?
• was an item or equipment made less functional?
• was a crew member injured?

11.2 Serious Damage
This is not possible to define but a protest committee should ask:
• was the performance of the boat or crew seriously impaired?
• was the market value of the boat significantly diminished?
• was a crew member seriously injured?

11.3 Physical Damage
An example of physical damage is:
• real damage to either boat or crew
Examples of what is not physical damage are:
• capsize with no damage, causing a loss of places
• rigs or lifelines entangled

11.4 Serious Injury
An example of serious injury might be an injury that required medical attention beyond minor aid but not necessarily hospitalization.

Remember that a PC is free to ask as many questions as they think are needed, but that a conclusion on "damage" always will be subjective. And that's fine, three or five reasonably headed people should be able to come up with a fair assessment.

How about this one?
"Damage to a boat is something a prudent boat owner would address immediately after a race, either by repairing or preventing further deterioration".

Do you have a (serious) damage criteria?

Tuesday 8 April 2008

Sunny Spain without the Rain

Dear Look to Windward Reader,

By the time this post will appear on the blog - by virtue of delayed posting in blogger-draft - I will be boarding a plane to sunny Spain. :-))

To do umpiring at the V Open de España, a grade 1 Match Race event at Calpe, Spain, from 8-12 April 2008. You can visit the website here. This event is an official qualifier for the World Match Racing Tour and the winner will be invited to the St. Moritz Match Race.

Together with nine other Umpires I will be following boats to whistle and flag when appropriate. This will be my first Grade 1 event and I'm excited, but also a little nervous. Will I be able to get up to speed quickly enough and not make to many mistakes. Match racing can be so bloody fast when there's a little more wind, specially in the pre-start maneuvering. I'm sure about my knowledge of the RRS, but those transitions, oh man...

I have prepared a couple of posts to be published this week, so even if I can't get to an Internet connection you should get new content. If I can, I will try to post a few pictures and perhaps a few interesting calls of the action at this event.

Temperature at Valencia, 100 klicks north from Calpe, was 23 degrees this morning! A whole lot better than the 7 degrees I woke up to. I'm bringing my shorts!

Jos 'Hombre del Clavo'

PS: You can still make comments or mail me, but please be patient, it might take some time to get it published on the blog or before I can answer.

Monday 7 April 2008

Picture this - or - how to paint a thousand words

In last weeks Look to Windward Q&A, I made an appeal to draw a diagram based on Alastairs facts.

Two people responded and one of them send me a diagram. I think the rules analysis was pretty much covered in the comments these two made, but I am disappointed in the lack of drawings I received. Surely you make diagrams in the protest room? And sailors too, you need to be able to accurately draw what the situation was?

Here's the one Brass send me, made by TSS:

He started by drawing out the information given in the case and quickly discovered that he needed some additional information.
- How far from A was B when B became overlapped to leeward?
- At what point did B cease to change course towards the wind?
- Between when B became overlapped to leeward and when the contact occurred what changes to course or speed did A make?

Because he made the effort to translate the facts into a diagram, these questions arose. I'm not saying that these would not have been asked without a diagram, but it makes it so much easier to find them. Facts are something that has happened, so you must be able to draw them in a picture. And the picture is not complete without all the facts.
If you train yourself in drawing a proper diagram, you will discover that finding the right questions becomes much less of a burden.

So, in order to give you another opportunity, I've made a list of facts found and ask you again to make a diagram. I'm deliberately leaving out a few, so include your questions with the drawing. I'm not going to answer them, you will have to make do with what is posted.
If you're not happy with that - go 'either or' and make two diagrams.

You can use any method you want, TSS, Word pictures or penciled and scanned. Send them to the blogs mail and I'll announce "the winner" sometime next week.
Good luck!

In a valid protest the following facts were found:
  • Rainbow 200 on a broad reach on starboard tack, and Kwadraat 77 also on that reach on starboard tack sail, along a (grassland soft) shore.
  • The shore makes a slight curve
  • Virtually at the same moment both boats gybe on to a port tack.
  • At the time of the gybe Kwadraat 77 is 2 meters clear ahead of Rainbow 200.
  • After her gybe Kwadraat 77 leaves a gab between her stern and the shore.
  • Rainbow 200 sails into that gab and calls for room to pass.
  • Kwadraat 77 responds by luffing and there's contact between the boats which results in damage.
  • Both boats hit the shore and get stuck.

Sunday 6 April 2008

Hear Yee, Hear Yee,... Amorita vs Sumurun | 3

Last weeks appeal for a copy of the Sailing Instructions had results. I received a scanned copy. Together with the NOR a couple of questions and remarks I made, can now be answered, but they also introduce a few new issues.

If you're reading about this case-study for the first time, I suggest you go back to part one and part two before reading this post.

The organizing authority according to the SI is the Museum of Yachting. I'm not sure if a museum can be a member if US-Sailing, but perhaps it's possible.
If they are, they can organize a regatta according to rule 88.1(c).
If they are not affiliated to US-Sailing, they can organize a regatta under RRS 88.1(e) or (f). In both rules the conjunction of an affiliated club is needed. In RRS 88.1(e) this club then has to own or control the unaffiliated body (MoY in our case), which is highly unlikely. That leaves 88.1(f): MoY can - if approved by ISAF and by US-Sailing - organize a regatta in conjunction with an affiliated club where the MOY is not owned or controlled by the club.

There's no mention of any club in the NOR but there is in the SI. However, some ambiguous wording is used. I quote: "The Organizing Authority is the Museum of Yachting With Race Committee support by The New York Yacht Club"

Race Committee support? What does this mean?
Is the NYYC involved as a club or are individual members helping the MoY?
Does this comply with RRS 88.1(f)?
What do you think?

Like I previously stated the NOR mention that a boat may not enter without carrying a liability insurance. The SI repeat the conditions for entry regarding liability insurance and the signing of a waiver by the captain and crew. The waiver states that the sum covered must be $300.000,-. All neat and covered.

What if a boat who doesn't sign a waiver sails the regatta?
Not possible, you would think, entry would be refused, that boat shall not sail!

Picture this:
The waiver has to be handed in no later than 10:00 hours on Saturday July 6th, 2007 according to the NOR (NB: I'm assuming this should read: 10:00 hours on Saturday July 7th, 2007, as being the first day of the regatta), signed by the skipper and each crew member.
10:00 hours is one hour before a scheduled Skippers' meeting. Prudence would dictate that entries have been checked by that time and any problems with it can subsequently be addressed at that meeting.

But what if the entered boat - without a waiver - doesn't attend that Skippers' meeting?

She reported to Race Headquarters the previous evening between 17:00 and 19:00 hours, registered and picket up her Skippers package. "I haven't yet gotten all signatures, some of my crew arrive tomorrow morning, ok?" and out the door she goes... never returning the waiver as promised the next morning. But the scorer gets notified the boat has entered and is to be included in the starting list.

At the starting area that same boat lines up to start around 13:00 hours or later (according to her class). Either the PRO has been notified by the Race Office that Yacht so and so, hasn't signed the necessary waiver or he has not been so informed.
In the first possibility he can send out his support boat to that yacht, informing them they may not enter and should leave the race area. Or seek contact on VHF to do the same, perhaps when that Yacht checks in at the stern of the committee boat. Something the SI require every boat to do.
In the second possibility he doesn't know, so he does nothing and the Yacht starts and sails the regatta.

Surely this is a unlikely set of circumstances to happen?

Apparently not, because in the NOR this possibility is acknowledged by, and I quote: "Yachts without properly signed waivers on file with MoY will not be scored"
Not "....will be protested by the RC" or anything of that nature. Not be scored!

Plain and simple, that boat is breaking a rule and - in my opinion - should be disqualified by the PC. If the reason for breaking that rule is not adequate - that DSQ should be not excludable under rule 89.3(b).

Before you start telling me that a yacht without a properly signed waiver cannot be entered and is in fact not a competitor, consider this: If a non-competitor sails around acting as one, how are other yachts to know? And also, if she's considered to be 'not a competitor', the PC and any Appeal committee have no jurisdiction over her. You cannot protest a boat who isn't entered in the regatta. Then you can chuck the rules, including the carefully compounded NoR, the SI and waivers, in to the rubbish bin, because they don't apply to a boat who isn't entered.

The amount of $ 300.000,- the insurance should cover, seems very low. Surely these classic yachts have a far greater value? If I go racing with my own boat, a 6 meter open keel boat (Valk 742), the standard amount is € 500.000,- which is about $ 785.000,- already...
Are insurance-premiums that much higher in the USA?

Finally in answer to to one of the responders to a previuos post, the MOY will host a 2008 event for both of it's classic yacht regatta's.
The 1st being 3rd annual Robert Tiedemann Classic Yacht Regatta, July 5-6 2008.
The 2nd will be it's 29th Annual (classic) Regatta, Aug 30-31 2008.

The Organizing Authority for both regatta's and race management will be provided by Sail Newport (new this year) in conjunction with The Museum of Yachting. Info will be posted at or It is currently listed on the printable calendar available on Sail Newport's website.
(Thanks Ron, for this info!)

Next time in Amorita vs Sumurun | 4:
The impact on the regatta of the use of an experimental definition of keep clear, changes in RRS 14 and 44.1, arbitration, modifications in RRS 61.1(a) and alternative (scoring) penalties.

Saturday 5 April 2008

Returning to start? | 2

In last Saturday's post there were a couple of questions regarding rights and obligations when two boats were approaching the starting line from the course side after the signal had gone.

I received an analysis by Brass which pretty much covers everything, except if the outcome would be different in Match-, Team- or Fleet Racing.

This is what Brass send me: (I've added my comments in red)


Does RRS 18 apply?

If Y sails below the pin, leaving it to port, Is B entitled to room or not?

If Y sails above the pin, leaving it to starboard, is Y entitled to room or has B to keep clear?

When does RRS 20.1 come into play?


RRS 18 doe not apply at a starting mark when boats are approaching it to start (RRS 18.1)

A boat cannot be approaching a mark to start until it is approaching it to pass it on the required side (MR Call book; UMP 13) + this also depends on time and speed in the prevailing conditions and the time remaining before the starting signal.

Arguably at Position 1 the pin mark has no required side: B and Y may pass on either side of it (would be different in an I flag start), BUT not later than when the Y reaches the 2BLzone she is EITHER going to be about to round the mark on its required side OR she is going to pass the mark not on its required side: she must make an election and she must make it sufficiently far away (See UMP 10), but with a small mark this might not be very far.

If Y elects to, then RRS 18 is OFF (but RRS 16.1 remains ON)



Y elects to round the mark on its required side + it’s after starting signal

Y elects to pass the mark not on its required side

B and Y are approaching a starting mark to start because they are approaching the mark to pass it on its required side.

B and Y are not approaching a starting mark to start because they are not approaching the mark to pass it on a required side.

Therefore RRS 18 is excluded by RRS 18.1: RRS 18 is OFF.

Therefore RRS 18 is not excluded by RRS 18.1: RRS 18 is ON.

B is overlapped at the 2 BL zone but is not entitled to room to round the mark because RRS 18 is OFF.

Y is overlapped at the 2 BL zone and is entitled to rights and room to pass to port of the mark (RRS 18.2(b)).

ALTERNATIVELY, it can be argued

UMP 13 only applies before the start/starting signal, and boats coming near a starting mark in this case ARE approaching the mark to start and RRS 18 is OFF (RRS 18.1(a)).

Here I disagree, even when returning (Ump13) you cannot be approaching a mark to start until approaching to pass the mark on the required side

B is not required to give Y room under RRS 18.

B is required to keep clear of Y (RRS 11).

BUT B is required to keep clear of Y (RRS 11).



B keeps clear of Y and Y does not fail to give B room to keep clear: No rule is broken.

B keeps clear of Y and allows Y room to pass the mark: No rule is broken.

As for RRS 20.1, see my previous post.

As for RRS 20.1, see my previous post.

At Positionn 4 Y is completely on the pre-start side and so is NOT sailing towards the pre-start side, so, if B IS sailing towards the pre-start side, B must keep clear, although B appears to be sailing neither towards nor away from the pre-start side, BUT B must keep clear of Y in any case (RRS 11).

At Position 4 I'm inclined to say that Y is sailing towards the pre-start side until she is clear on the pre-start side, so at Position 4, RRS 20.1 does not apply between B and Y because neither is sailing other than towards the pre-start side

At Positions 5 and 6 RRS 20.1 does not apply because B is not sailing towards the pre-start side.

At Positions 5 and 6 RRS 20.1 does not apply because B is not sailing towards the pre-start side.

If I was wrong in my decision that at 4 Y was sailing towards the pre-start side, and it was held that Y WAS NOT sailing towards the pre-start side, then B would be required to keep clear of Y by RRS 20.1, but B is required to keep clear of Y by RRS 11 in any case



B keeps clear of Y. No rule is broken

B keeps clear of Y. No rule is broken

This situation will most likely happen in a Match Race, but the outcome doesn't change if it happens during a fleet or team race.

Friday 4 April 2008

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