Friday 31 October 2008

UMP_CALL | 9 & Ladies Only | 2

After some initial waiting for the wind to fill in, we had a nice day on the water with seven flights in and all 8 crews sailing at least once or twice. Although cold in the end the umpiring was good with everybody getting to know eachother. Some familiar, some new, but all in all a good umpire team.

Tonight we had a nice three course dinner at the club. The chairman made sure we mixed it up a little by insisting that no more than two of the same team could sit at any table. So I ended up having dinner with members of a British, a Finish and a French Team. My language skills only include a few words in French and no Finnish at all, so we spoke in English. I had a very nice dinner and met some interesting new people
Highlight of the evening was the presentation of a gift for all participants. The ladies received a hot water bottle which was very much appreciated by my right dinner companion, who declared she would definitely use it for cold feet back home. Being a poor medical student, she could economize on heating for another week or two.
In other words a very usefull present, this time. I was almost jealous, because all the men got was a cap. But finally decided that that was a more practical present for me after all.

For sure we talked about the rules within the umpire-team earlier. Jean Pierre - one of the other umpires - gave me this one, which I'm passing onto you:
Two boats in a match race approach the windward mark. Blue establishes an overlap to windward.
At the mark Yellow luffs and Blue protests! What is your decision?

Thursday 30 October 2008

Ladies Only 2008

Tomorrow (well actually later today) I'm driving to Hamburg for a Match Race Event: Ladies Only organized by the Hamburger Segel-Club e.V. I've been going to this event for a couple of years running. This year my friend Manuel hasn't been pulling the cart - so to speak and I'm curious what will happen. He was the "motor" behind getting HSC and Hamburg this event and has been instrumental in getting the European Championship Match Racing there in 2007 as well. Ladies Only coincides with a big boat show in Hamburg: Hanseboat.
Due to our umpire duties we haven't been able to visit the "Bootshallen", but perhaps this year.

Sailing takes place in the center of the city on lake Alster where the club has it's marina and club house. Travel time about four and a half hours. It will be like going back to an old "haunt". I'm looking forward to it.

Because of my limited time, I'm not sure I will be able to post, but I'll bring my lap-top and will try. In the meantime I'm leaving you an Umpire Call to ponder about:

During the pre-start, Yellow and Blue are both on the same tack with Yellow clear ahead. Both are moving astern by backing their sails and are still not overlapped. Yellow gains a little more speed and makes a light contact with her rudder and the bow of Blue. Blue signals protests with a Yankee Flag.
What is your decision?

(Note to self: Take a couple of colored clothes pegs; colored windward marks)


Wednesday 29 October 2008

VOR Jury Decision on request for reopening ER3

On the VOR Notice board you can read the full decision of the Jury in the request for reopening by ER3 of the issue around their Measurement Certificate and their non-compliant Keel.
It's a lengthy document but interesting to read. As always with measurements issues, it comes down to who said what and when, about the details.

In the end however one basic principle is upheld: Not the OA, not the Jury and not the Race Management are responsible for complying with the class rules, no matter who said what. That is the sole responsibility of the boat-owner and any other person in charge. Straight from rule 78.1

In any other race non compliance would mean: no racing for that boat. ER3 has at least been spared that....

RULE 10 & 14 ?

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Seminar Report Ghent 2008

I received another report from Bruno about the second seminar this autumn in Ghent Belgium. He writes:

Hi Jos,
As promised another small report . We had 17 participants from 8 countries, 2 continents:

Antonio Fernandez ESP
Chris Atkins GBR
David Taylor GBR
Dirk Sledsens BEL
Douglas Sloan USA
Eric Kling NED
Frank Cleeren BEL
Jana Lemberg FIN
Joep Straus BEL
Johannes Diefenbach GER
John Borsboom NED
Jonathan Haines GBR
Karelina Buijtendorp NED
Olaf Veerman NED
Peter Taylor GBR
Vic De Smedt BEL
Zlatko Jakelic CRO

Pat Healy (USA) and Josje Hofland (NED) where the instructors of the IJ seminar and I was this time the organiser. Most of the participants were staying in the Bloso Sportshotel, a part of the Flanders sports Arena. ( See )

The set-up of the seminar was, as last week, focused around conduct of an International Judge, procedures to be followed and decision making in protests.

On Friday night we had a guided tour in Ghent and ate a typical Flemish stew with Belgian fries (Stoverij met frieten). With this delicious food we where prompted to try the local beers and the Duvel’s, Trappists, white beers and normal beers where all thoroughly tested and approved. Johan De Vocht, IJ and Secretary General of the Belgian Yachting Association honoured us with his presence.

On Saturday we had a full schedule but in the evening we took a 30 minutes ride to Bruges and Trine (the same guide as yesterday) showed us the nice places of the inner town. Flabbergasted was the word some participants used.

The extra hour sleep/study due to change of summer- to winter-time was appreciated by most of us…;-)

On Sunday the written test was done by 16 of the 17 participants and Chris Atkins claimed he had no mistakes in part 1. That is for sure a new World Record…… We estimate that 6-7 participants passed the test. This is also a new record and well above the 30% average of the last 2 years. Chris, Johannes, Zlatko, Antonio (with his 18 years the youngest participant ever to past the test) and Joep are pretty confident they passed. Douglas, Jana and some others will be right on the edge of the 80%. Lets keep the fingers crossed for them.

I believe the instructors did a fantastic job in preparing the students and I am confident that the rate of successful participants will be higher then ever before. Big thanks once more to the great instructors Pat and Josje, they made a perfect teaching-pair, not always agreeing but always challenging the participants to there limits

Good winds and see you on the water
Bruno De Wannemaeker


SPEED & SMARTS (3) Email Subscription

Speed & Smarts, the newsletter for how-to tips for the racing sailor, is offering a new way to subscribe: by Email. For $35,- you get all the issues in your mail box for a full year. Specially for Non-American sailors an interesting deal, since you avoid the steep price of Snail-Mail. For two years you pay $60,- (about € 45,-) and you can print the pdf-file yourself.

The next issue should be very interesting, since it deals with David's take on the new rules. Go to Speed & Smarts and check it out yourself.

Other Posts about Speed&Smart:


Monday 27 October 2008

LTW Readers Q&A | 11

A couple of questions from Andraz from Slovenia about umpired Match Racing:

In a match race, in the prestart a boat gets two separate penalties.
Just before the starting signal, there is a contact between boats and umpires decide that it should be a twin penalty. Is this the third penalty and a base for the black flag (under C7.3(f)) or not?
Just seconds after the starting signal, a boat with two penalties gets a red flag penalty. Same question: is this the third penalty and a base for the black flag (under C7.3(f)) or not?

There was a lively discussion about it recently, by non-umpires but judges and I couldnt believe how many opinions were produced in a short matter of time. :)

Regards from Slovenia, Andraz

I had to think about these questions Andraz, and still am not sure. In my opinion, for the situation in the first question, a black flag is not warranted. RRS C7.2(e) takes precedent over RRS C7.2(f), so with a twin penalty, one is canceled immediately and the boat still has only two outstanding penalties of which one must be taken directly after starting.

In the second situation I think the black flag is appropriate, provided that the infringement is not for C2.8
In that case the second of the two outstanding penalties has been taken, but the boat gets an additional penalty (with or without red) for not keeping clear while taking a penalty.

If the (third) red flag penalty is for something else, the total number of penalties becomes three and a black flag should be given.

I'm however open for other opinions. Please don't hesitate to comment.

Saturday 25 October 2008

Redress for a Rule 69 warning? - revisited

In a comment on my answer in yesterday's post Luigi said...
" Sorry Jos but a warning is an advice, not an action. The situation you described is under 60.3a. Jury can protest the trower at the hearing."

I thought it was worth posting about it so you can all join the discussion.

You can only protest the competitor who allegedly threw the can, in a rule 69 hearing. "Normal" protest are ALWAYS against a boat - not a person.

69.1(b) Final sentence: "If it decides that the competitor committed the alleged misconduct it shall either" .... and then continues with two possibilities:
(1) either warn
(2) or impose a penalty

In my opinion those are BOTH "disciplinary actions under rule 69.1(b)" as referred to in 62.1(d)

Someone can be disciplined by warning him or her. The disciplinary action is to set about a change in conduct, either by imposing a warning or a penalty.

Granted, most people would rather punish by a penalty...The "make them pay"-policy. But don't underestimate the social implications of being hauled in front of the protest committee on a rule 69 charge. A warning might serve better, if only not to incur rancor at an unnecessary (unjust) penalty.

If you limit the redress in 62.1(d) to only cases where the offender is penalized - by one way or another - you put undue pressure on the verdict if that is the only way for the PC to grant redress to the boat who has been damaged.

What are your thoughts on this subject?


Friday 24 October 2008

Seminar Preparations | 10

How much time did it take you to come up with the answer from yesterday's question?
Be honest - longer than you thought!

In my opinion rule 62.1 (d) does permit redress for a warning under rule 69 against a competitor. The wording used in the rule is "disciplinary action"! Not "a penalty" or "has been penalized". A warning is a disciplinary action against a competitor who has committed the alleged misconduct.

Perhaps an example?
A young sailor trows a soft drink can in anger away in the boat park. It hits a boat and holes the deck. That boat has to go to the repair shop and cannot sail in the race the next day.

The competitor who has thrown the can is called into a hearing under rule 69, admits he threw the can and is sincerely sorry, apologizes and offers to pay for the damage. In light of the age of the sailor, his admitting of the facts and his remorse, not to mention his offer to pay, the PC decides to give him a warning instead of a DGM.
The boat that missed the race the next day can ask for redress because the outcome of the Rule 69 hearing confirmed the misconduct and disciplined the culprit with a warning.

This concludes the posting series on Seminar Preparation.

Thursday 23 October 2008

Seminar Preparations | 9

In order for you to calculated the score correctly in yesterday's question, you need Appendix A! (hint, hint, nudge, nudge)
Secondly you also need the SI. Organizers change things in the SI. Specially for medal races there are double points and probably no discards allowed. So you need to assume a couple of things.

The intent of all IJ-test questions is to give you all the information you need, no more and no less. If you feel you need to assume a fact or a premise, don't think up something new. As with yesterday's question, go for the most "normal". Oh, be sure to point out your assumption in the debrief afterwards. Questions can always be improved.

The correct order for the ten boats, with one discard in the first six races, double points for race seven is, and the medal race deciding ties:

Sail# Points discard results
1 1102 23 7 16
2 216 39 8 31
3 1103 41 10 31
4 1068 42 10 32
5 1013 58 25 33
6 18 43 8 35
7 1064 64 25 39
8 1045 58 14 44
9 908 57 12 45
10 892 65 12 53

(UPDATED 23/10/08-16:24 hours)

The tie between two and three is broken in favor of 216 because of her second place in the medal race.

Today's final question in this preparation series, is about rule 69 and redress. Or to be more accurate, a question were you can test how quickly you can look up something in the rulebook. I've included this because during the test you are allowed to keep your (clean) rulebook and check. So if you know your way around in the structure, you can quickly find the appropriate rule and check your answer. Mind, if you need to read before answering, it will take too much time...

I suggest you time yourself. Here's the question:
Can a boat ask for redress when a competitor has been warned in a rule 69 hearing?

Tomorrow the IJ-seminar in Ghent will start. I wish all who participate a good time and all candidates best of luck in the test!


Wednesday 22 October 2008

Seminar Preparations | 8

Yesterday I asked you to have a look at how you would change the rules in the Sailing Instructions. Before you do that, have a look at 86.1 to see if you are allowed to do so. Something I also forgot, when I was asked this question.

In rule 86.1 it is specifically stated that rules in part 2 may not be changed in the sailing instructions. Changing rule 14 is only allowed as an experiment and you need permission of ISAF or your MNA to do that, for an event.

I do understand the need to satisfy a sponsor. And understand his interest in keeping his boats in one piece, undamaged. But changing the rules to accomplish that, is not permitted.
Rule 14 is designed to put blame where it is appropriate. ANY damage - even a nicked gel-coat - can be penalized. The rule does not mention 'serious' like in 44.1.

Mike B's solution is one I could live with to 'scare' sailors to behave in sponsored boats. But remember, they have already had to pay a damage deposit of a couple of hundred Euros.
Perhaps it would be better to increase that, instead of changing RRS 14

If you decide to change rule regardless, I suspect that an attentive sailor will be able to get it overturned on appeal.....

Today's question is about scoring. Below You'll find a table with scoring of ten boats
These ten have competed in the medal race. Before that they all were in a qualifying races in two groups. That is why some boats have the same score and other scores are missing:

Sail# R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7
18 3 6 8 6 6 2 6
216 6 8 7 3 6 5 2
892 12 9 9 8 4 3 10
908 12 11 5 2 4 9 7
1013 5 1 25(dnf) 4 2 5 8
1045 8 5 14 12(dip) 3 10 3
1064 25(bfd) 1 6 5 5 4 9
1068 10 3 4 6 7 2 5
1102 1 3 1 7 5 4 1
1103 2 2 2 10 8 9 4

Please, put them in order: 1st through 10th as prescribed by the RRS.


Tuesday 21 October 2008

Seminar Report Bulgaria 2008

I received an Email from Bruno De Wannemaeker about the Seminar last weekend in Sofia. Thanks Bruno!

Hi Jos,

I write a small report in English so you don’t have to translate. I’m flying home from Sofia right now after a weekend of Rules, Procedures and finally the written test. We where with 16 participants from 10 countries:
  1. Adrian Bauder SUI
  2. Alexandru Micu ROU
  3. Athanasios Papantoniou GRE
  4. Bruno De Wannemaeker BEL
  5. Caterina Gouleliou GRE
  6. Dean Osavkov MKD
  7. Dragomir Andonovic SRB
  8. Iskra Yovkova BUL
  9. Iulia Negoescu ROU
  10. Luigi Cuccotti ITA
  11. Petar Kaloyanov BUL
  12. Plamen Georgiev BUL
  13. Roumen Paunov BUL
  14. Stanislav Kassarov BUL
  15. Yoram Sharett ISR
  16. Zsolt Regenyi HUN

Pat Healy (USA), Hans-Kurt Andersen (DEN) and Kamen Filljov (BUL) where the instructors of the IJ seminar and Stanislav Kassarov (President Bulgarian Sailing Federation) was the organiser. Most of u where staying in a nice, simple hotel Talinka and the courses where held in the World Trade Center on the other side of the road.

The seminar was focused around conduct of IJ, procedures to be followed and decision making in sailing protest. Some participants took the seminar for the second time after failing the first time last year in Istanbul. Being more a windsurfer then a sailor myself, I had prepared double for rules 42, 17 and 18 and sometimes Kamen and I could even help the instructors on specific items of Appendix B and A related to windsurfing………

The IJ test had 3 parts: First, 12 multiple choice questions with 1 to 6 good answers about part 2 racing rules. Second, 12 multiple choice questions with 1 to 6 good answers about procedures and protest hearings and finally 2 Protest cases. Based on a drawing and some declarations of sailors, we had to write out the facts, the conclusions and the decision we would make in case of a one man jury. There where some F*** Y** questions, but in the end I believe it really tested the knowledge of the candidates on most of the rules to be mastered.

I believe the instructors did a great job in preparing the students and hope that the rate of successful participants will be higher then ever before (normally around 30 %). I have been preparing for this seminar for 2 years with a lot of on the job training in Jury-panels, studying all possible clarifying rulebooks (Brian Willis, Dave Perry, Paul Elvstrom,….), all the ISAF and RYA cases, ISAF Q&A and looking up as much as possible quizzes about the Racing Rules of Sailing
( , , and on websites.

Besides this self-study I had a great group of Belgian and Dutch fellow students (Joep, Frank, Erik, Olaf,..) which whom we worked the past year to prepare. The Belgian/Dutch jury clinic last December with Josje Hofland and Leo-Pieter Stoel opened our eyes and really introduced us in the ISAF way of thinking. Also the clear structure Josje introduced was a big help.

E-mail is a fantastic tool to prepare and study. Whenever I got stuck or had questions I turned to some IJ friends and within 24 hours I received replies on my (sometimes stupid) questions.
A big thank to Frans Bolweg (NED), Ewan Mc Ewan (GBR), Elena Modesto (ESP), Andrus Poksi (EST), Jos Spijkerman (NED), Kamen Filljov (BUL) and Johan Devocht (BEL)…… Without them I would never have succeeded. Although we now have to wait 2-3 weeks before we get the results of the test, 4-5 people (Stanislav, Yoram, Adrian, Luigi,….me) felt very good after the test and even better after we went over the results. We will keep our fingers crossed.

Big thanks once more to the great instructors Pat, Hans-Kurt and Kamen. They also learned somethings. Like a port-end start mark, how to connect a beamer, “F***” is a normal word for non=native English, windsurfers have a better tie system then sailors. Also, Iulia is not heavy enough to be used as hooking strap for a star sailor, the need for a new kind of flagpole for the green “Change of course flag” in the 2009-2012 rules and how to deal with the dilemma: is it “meter” or “metre” …

Friday starts the seminar in Belgium which I’m hosting in Ghent. I look forward to work one more weekend with Pat Healy and Josje Hofland and the 17 participants for the seminar. If you let me, I will write a report about this second seminar next weekend as well.

All the best and good luck to the participants in the Belgian seminar.
Bruno De Wannemaeker

Seminar Preparations | 7

In answer to yesterday's questions: the following movements are illegal according to the rules: 1, 5 and 6
  1. Sticking a foot in the water to slow the boat next to a mark. ILLEGAL
    It's the same as if you would stick a paddle into the water: Rule 42 does not only prohibits gaining speed in that way, but also loosing speed.
  2. Pulling the main to accelerate down the leeward side of a wave. LEGAL
    This is specifically allowed in rule 42.3(c), but only once for each wave or gust of wind and not on a beat to windward. The latter looks a little redundant because, how can you surf down the leeward side of a way going upwind. But there are also other waves on the racecourse. A wake of a passing boat for instance.
  3. Pushing down the centerboard in the mud in a shallow area just before the starting line to stay still in a current against the boat. LEGAL
    This is the same as anchoring, which is allowed in RRS 45. You may also stand on the bottom and hold your boat.
  4. Repeatedly moving the tiller to turn the boat from head to wind to a close-hauled course. LEGAL
    Another exception in 43.2 (d). Watch out though! Only when your moving slowly or are stationary. You may scull to a close hauled course but not PASSED that.
  5. Using the propeller (by turning on the engine) to get clear of another boat after a collision. ILLEGAL
    You may use any equipment and the force applied by the crew of either boat but NOT the propulsion engine.
  6. Pulling in the anchor and let the momentum carry the boat over the starting line. ILLEGAL
    Rule 45 states that you must recover the anchor before continuing racing but nothing about the momentum you have gained by pulling it up. You can find the answer in the Casebook. In Case 5 it is clearly stated: Recovering an anchor, whether it was lowered or thrown forward, so as to gather way over the ground breaks rule 42.1.
New question:
At an event with sponsored boats the OA asks the jury to write a Sailing Instruction rule which would disqualify any boat which is responsible for a contact. With or without damage. This is a condition of the sponsor for using his boats.
How would you formulate such a SI?


LTW Readers Q&A | 10

A readers Q&A from Joep Straus, who's currently hard at work preparing for the Seminar in Ghent. He's posing a question about an off-shore race.

Place: on the sea , two miles from the harbor. Windward finish, current 1,5 knots in the same direction as the wind.
At the finish line following incident took place: Boat F crossed the finish line laying over port tack, close hauled. Then she tacked to starboard, drifted with the current 25 meters below the finish line. She tacked again and crossed the finish line for a second time. While doing this, she made contact with her hull and rig on the finishing yacht which was situated as the starboard end of the line and had her anchor ball hoisted. There was damage, her boom made scratches on the hull and deck of the finishing vessel. The R.C. members on the finishing vessel had to seek shelter behind the cockpit.

The RC protested boat F. The protest was accepted as valid. The protester and the protestee agreed both about the description of the incident.
Facts found:
Boat F crossed the line and drifted back on the course side.
She then crossed the line again, but fouled the committee boat.
She then sailed off.

Conclusion:Boat F had ceased to race when she fouled the committee boat.
Decision: Protest dismissed.
Rules applicable: Not filled in.

Joep adds as his comment and questions:
The facts and conclusion mentioned above are very understandable. But also RRS 31, which is original mentioned to protect the Yachts which were voluntary marks for a yachts race. We do not like to have damage on the water. See also RRS 14. Also the preamble of part 2 RRS states: When a boat sailing under these rules meets a vessel that is not , (like a finish vessel with anchor ball) she shall comply with the IRPCAS or government Right of Way rules. Only the race - or protest committee is allowed to protest against a breach of the IRPCAS. In this case the RC protested because an anchored yacht with anchor ball should be respected and a sailing vessel should stay clear. Boat F infringed this rule. RRS 64.1.C : If a boat has broken a rule( preamble) when not racing, her penalty shall apply to the race sailed nearest in time to that of the incident.

When reading these rules, was the decision "protest dismissed" correct ? What is your opinion

Looking at the facts found I agree with the conclusion that during the contact boat F was no longer racing according the definition. She crossed the line and finished, then cleared the line. Subsequent collisions or rule infringements that might happen, are when she is no longer racing.

If we look at the preamble of part 2 we can read that the rules in part 2 also apply between boats that have been racing. But only the the rules in Part 2!
The question then becomes: Which rules is boat F breaking?

Boat F made contact with the anchored RC-finish vessel and broke rule 31. Rule 31 is in part 3, not in part 2 and is therefore not covered by the preamble.
Joep also talks about rule 14. In my opinion rule 14 is not applicable. That rule is between a right of way boat and a boat that has to keep clear. Avoiding a RC Boat is not a right of way rule.
Perhaps we have to look at rule 21? "If possible, a boat shall avoid a boat that is anchored". Again - in my opinion - not applicable between a RC-boat and a boat that has to keep clear.

So only rule 31. Rule 31 is not something that can be protested when a boat is no longer racing. It would be like protesting a spectator boat that hits a committee vessel.

The only remedy that I see, is to claim damages under the applicable government right-of-way rules. But it has no bearing on the outcome of the race and no influence on the scoring.
I agree with the PC that this protest should be dismissed.

This all depends on the conclusion that boat F was no longer racing. If the PC would have found as fact that the boat crossed the line for a second time, after correcting an error made at the finish line, she would have been racing and that would change everything.

I've gone trough the case-book trying to find a case that would be applicable, but have not found one. All cases involve a boat that is racing and one that is not. But I am open to other interpretations.

What is your opinion?


Monday 20 October 2008

Seminar Preparations | 6

Firstly the answer in SP | 5. It was already given in the comments: P is not keeping clear. Answer 2 is correct. Keeping clear is something more than avoiding a collision...... (See Case 50)

The first seminar in Bulgaria has been done by now. I hope everything went as planned. For the participants of the next one in Ghent Belgium, I have a new question to think about:

Which of the following movements is illegal according to the rules:
  1. Sticking a foot in the water to slow the boat next to a mark.
  2. Pulling the main to accelerate down the leeward side of a wave.
  3. Pushing down the centerboard in the mud in a shallow area just before the starting line to stay still in a current against the boat.
  4. Repeatedly moving the tiller to turn the boat from head to wind to a close-hauled course.
  5. Using the propeller (by turning on the engine) to get clear of another boat after a collision.
  6. Pulling in the anchor and let the momentum carry the boat over the starting line.
My event in Rotterdam was fun, educational and intense, but also very tiring. Team racing with two against two in very maneuverable boats, with good sailors who know what they are doing, can get very hectic at times. I'm sure some of our calls were green, just because I couldn't follow the action that quickly.
I'll leave you with a picture from the "grandstand" which was situated on the roof of a four story building, overlooking the race area. A perfect place to follow the action......

Early morning, before the action starts

view of the start line, shortly before the warning signal

Luckily the boats were a bit smaller then the one in the previous picture of Rotterdam, johnsee! Although, hmmm, the action might have been a little easier to follow...... All I would have needed would have been the red flag, to keep that boat turning circles for the use of an illegal propulsion engine....

Saturday 18 October 2008

FTBD (11)

As usual 'Flog the Blog Day' has come again. Well, as usual? I wouldn't have predicted when I started that I would be able to keep blogging this long already. Determined to do it, yes. Having fun doing it, yes. But actually keeping it up? Not by a long shot....

Anyway, regular readers know what this 18th of the month means, but for all the new readers joined this month, here's the scoop:

Each 18th of the month I write about blogging and this blog. I also invite you, as readers specifically, to give a comment on how to do that. Tell me I should include a particular link, post about a specific event or rule, but also on layout, features you like, post you dislike, subjects I should avoid or people I should ask to write a guest post. Please, flog away, I might actually listen and do something you want....

Of the projects in store for you, I can tell you only that it has been very slow going. In the pipeline are interviews with Olympic Jury members, more posts about RRS2009-2012 and perhaps some developments in an E-book on how to be a Protest-Committee-member.

Picture of the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam

I'm away from my computer this weekend, doing some umpiring at a National Team Race event in Rotterdam. I'd better read up on appendix D!


Friday 17 October 2008

UK-Halsey Racing Rules Blog

I get up early enough to check mail and write a few sentences each morning. This morning I was glad I had an extra half an hour to tell you about a new feature on the UK-Halsey website. Although I have a Google alert on "Racing Rules of Sailing" running, this time Scuttlebutt beat me to the punch.

This new Racing Rules Blog is by Butch Ulmer, president of UK Halsey International, who writes about the changes in the new rules. He already has a couple of posts about the definitions up on his blog. He also gives readers the opportunity to ask questions and will answer them online.

Also writing in a guest post is Rob Overton, one of the members of the rule 18 working party. Together with Chris Atkins and Richard Thompson, from the UK, and Ben Altman and Dick Rose, from the USA
, he was responsible for the rewriting of rule 18. His post addresses the sailing "to" and "at" the mark we came across earlier.

UK Halsey will also redo their rule quizzes to get in line with RRS 2009-2012 (expected in December)

You can read the official press release here

And the link to the Rules Blog:
Racing Rules Blog

Update: 22/10/2008
Butch Ulmer has posted a new blogpost linking to my blog:
and I can already see the increase in traffic. Thanks Butch!


Seminar Preparations | 5

Today, Friday 17th of October, the first of two IJ Seminars starts in Sofia, Bulgaria. I wish all participants a fruitful time in the classroom and best of luck in the test. Knowing Pat Healy he will make it fun on occasional too.
To all who participate, if you have time next week, drop me an E-mail and tell me what you thought about the seminar and test.

On with our series: In SP4 I had a question about a protest-form. It was not a trick question All, but designed to have you think about what a protest must have and what it doesn't need, to be considered a protest. You're answer Sen, is correct. Sorry Jan, back to the book for you.

In order to be accepted as a protest we have to look at rule 61.2.
  • A protest SHALL be in writing and identify: (a), (b), (c) and (d).
In the last part of the same rule however, we can read that only requirement (b) MUST be met on the initial form. i.e. a description of the incident, including where and when it occurred.

The incident: a boat touching the mark, where and when: in race B at mark 4 on 16/10/08
The form also provides information on requirement (a): the protestor: Falcon 742 and the protestee: Falcon 1020. That must be provided before the hearing can start. Otherwise the parties cannot be notified and have no time to prepare.

If the protestor doesn't remember the exact sail number of the boat, he can nevertheless hand in the form - for instance to meet the protest-time limit - and then start looking in the boat park to try to find the correct number. He has until the hearing starts to get that number and tell the PC. If he can't, the protest will be dismissed, but if he can, the PC must continue.

Requirements (c) and (d) have even a longer time to be met. They can be added during the hearing. You can leave out the name of the person who will represent the boat, send someone in who is best - after for instance, you've talked to the crew - and tell the PC the name when you start. Requirement (c) is by far the least of your troubles. The rule you think the protestor has broken. You don't need to worry about the correct rule number, but you must tell the PC what you think the other boat has done wrong according to the rules. Well, that was why you started this protest in the first place, wasn't it?

So although there are clearly a number of things missing on the form; there is no drawing, no further description how the boat touched the mark or where, etc, this form is a protest! It meets the requirements in rule 61.2

The fact that it is written on a protest form - designed to extract all the relevant information - has no value in the RRS. You can WRITE a protest on any piece of paper as long as it meets the requirements of rule 61.2. Mind, don't do it just because you can. Most SIs have a sentence where it is stated that a protest must be written on such a form. But if you're pressed for time getting back, write your sentence on anything and hand it in, before you ask for the form. That way you at least are sure you handed it in as soon as possible.

In our case, this sentence should suffice:
  • " Boat Falcon 742 protests boat Falcon 1020 for touching mark 4 in Race B on 16/10/08. Signed: Jos "
Then write the form as best you can, leave it at the desk in addition to you first paper and prepare for the hearing. If that is not accepted, point the PC to RRS 61.2 and state you think you have met all requirements as best you could. The PC would be hard pressed to find fault.

In today's question I've tried to give you a feel for the type of question you can expect in the test. Those are all multiple choice. With points for correct and deductions for incorrect answers. You can read about the points and scoring in this post: IJ seminar study questions 2

Boat P on port tack on a collision course with boat S on starboard tack. Both close hauled on a beat in race 3 toward the first windward mark racing in J22s. Boat P thinks he can cross ahead of boat S and shouts " Hold your course ". Boat S however does not think P can pass and hails back "Starboard!" Both boats continue and when P is 2/3 passed the bow of S, boat S bears away to avoid a collision. When S passes the stern of P the distance between the boats is 1 meter.

Which of the following statements are true:
  1. Boat S broke rule 16.1
  2. Boat P broke rule 10
  3. There is no rule broken
  4. Both boats have broken a rule, P broke rule 10 and S broke rule 16.1
  5. Boat P broke rule 10 and rule 14.
This question is much simpler than the one you will have in the test. Nevertheless it's good practice to make a quick drawing of the situation and then decide. Remember: a wrong answer will get you negative points!

UPDATE: I've been informed that the scoring on the IJ test has been changed. You don't get negative points on wrong answers anymore. In each part there are 12 questions with 62 possible answers. To pass with over 80% you need 12 or less mistakes in each part. So a mistake isn't a negative point, it is one of the 12 goofs you allowed. (Thanks Pat!)


Thursday 16 October 2008

Seminar Preparations | 4

In answer to yesterdays question:
Before th PC can give redress the following facts have to be found:
  • The Pin-end starting mark was moved after the preparatory signal.
  • Marion was not aware she was over the line before her starting signal.
The first fact found constitutes a mistake under rule 62.1(a), because of RRS 27.2
The second fact is to establish that there was 'no fault of her own'. If Marion knew she was over the line but did not return, her redress can not be given.

If both these facts are found, I would give Marion her finishing position - the one she actually sailed in the race, adjusting all other scores accordingly.

Today's question:
In the picture you'll find the first page of a protest form. You are a member of the Protest Committee and before starting the hearing, you discuss if this is a valid protest?
Please give me your opinion including your reasoning.


Wednesday 15 October 2008

Rapid Response Match Racing Call 2008/003

New on the ISAF Website: Rapid Response Match Racing Call 2008/003
It deals with a situation involving three boats. Two boats (Blue and Yellow) with an overlap sailing above proper course who encounter a third (Green) (from another match)

The clue to this difficult situation is in the definition of proper course.
Yellow establishes a seventeen overlap with Green so she has a restriction on proper course.
But Blue has not, coming from outside the two lengths.

Yellow is also keep clear boat towards Blue. For Yellow the proper course is to keep clear, and sailing 'higher'' to do that. She would have done the same if Green wasn't there.

Back to the definition.... "the absence of the other boats referred to in the rule using the term" is not BOTH Blue and Green, but only Green.

Seminar Preparations | 3

Answers for SP | 2:
Conclusion and rules that apply:

Rules that apply are RRS 10, 14 and 62.1(b)
Cadet 800 on Port did not keep clear of Cadet 900 on Starboard-tack. Cadet 900, the right-of-way boat, acted to avoid contact with Cadet 800 when it was clear that Cadet 800 was not keeping clear and the contact caused damage.
Cadet 900’s finishing place in race X has, through no fault of her own, been made significantly worse by physical damage because of the action of a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2.

Cadet 800 is DSQ for Race X. Cadet 900 is granted redress under RRS 62. Cadet 900 is to be scored points equal to the average, to the nearest tenth of a point (0.05 to be rounded upward), of her points in all the races in the series, except the race in question, RRS A.10 (a), which is race X
@Gordon: You are not wrong deciding Cadet 900 broke rule 14.
I do however want to tell all who are preparing for the test: Read what is written!
If something is not specifically stated, assume that it is not the case. In a proper hearing you can ask questions about an issue like this. If Cadet 900 was late in responding. But not in the test. So read carefully!

New Question SP | 3:

A boat named 'Marion' hands in a request for redress. She was scored OCS in race two by the race Committee. On the form she claims that due to the fact that she started at the middle of the line, her view toward the pin-end starting mark was blocked by several other boats.
She had - for that purpose - sighted the line when she came to the starting area between 10 to 8 minutes before the warning signal and had established a background point which was visible during the start. The Race Committee changed the position of the pin-end starting mark after that.

Which fact(s) does the PC need to grant this boat redress?
And how would you score 'Marion' in race 2 if that is done?


Tuesday 14 October 2008

LTW Readers Q&A | 9

Answering a couple of questions from James Ricketts about hull and zone:

Q1) Is there a possible anomaly in the definitions?
- Starting, Finishing and Overlap definitions all refer to "hull and equipment in normal position" whereas the definition of Zone references "any part of hull". Is there a good reason why these aren't all aligned? It seems slightly unfair that an overtaking boat can establish rights (ie an overlap) with the end of its bow-sprit whilst a boat ahead has to sail 'further' (ie until the bow of the boat enters the zone) to deny/break such an overlap. -

A1) I think there are a couple of reasons why these are different, in my opinion.

At the zone you need to ‘guess’ when you enter. Something which is hard enough to do, even with a fixed measurement as a hull. But impossible if you add equipment like bowsprit or spinnaker into the mix. If for instance a boat with an extended bowsprit enters the zone – measured with the sprit extended – and it then retracts its bowsprit, it would be outside the zone again. A boat is x meters long. Times three is xx meters. By using the hull (that never changes) you can learn to judge that distance.

Whereas starting and finishing are very specific timed moments which are not primarily judged by the crew but by the RC. For start and finish by the people on the line, who can perfectly judge if spinnaker of bowsprit cross a certain point. No doubt or guessing involved. Overlap is something which can change any moment and has an instant effect on the rules. There, a retraction of say a bowsprit, would simply put the trailing boat clear astern. OR – like in your example – extending the sprit create an instant overlap. That is not unfair because the clear ahead boat has the protection of rule 15. With a zone entrance such protection is not available.

In my opinion it is not an anomaly but purposely differently.

Q2) What constitutes the "hull" (as in hull-length)?
- This quite key concept does not appear to be defined. I assume it is the conventional definition of the "body" of a boat (ie the bit that makes it float!), but what about bow-sprits or transom-hung rudders, or yacht push-pits? Should this be clarified in the definitions or have I missed it somewhere? -

What constitutes a “hull” is defined in the ERS section D.
If the ERS have been validated in the Class-rules, the latter only give the measurements. Olympic classes have the ERS validated in the class rules and therefore the hull is defined, all be it through a series of documents.


Seminar Preparations | 2

First the answer to yesterdays question SP1.

Conclusion and rules that apply
Boat X broke rule 42.1, Propulsion. She did not compete, using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed, by holding on to the anchor line of the committee boat.
Boat X also broke rule 45 for the same reason. She made fast but not to bail out, reef sails or make repairs. She did not anchor (herself) or stand on the bottom.
She is not penalized under rule 31.1. The anchor line of a mark is not part of the mark itself (see definition Mark)

Boat X DSQ

Next question: Again, in a valid Protest, the following facts were found:
  • Cadet 800 on Port, beam reaching below the starting line and Cadet 900 close hauled on Starboard on a collision course, approximately 3 minutes before their starting signal.
  • 800 did not see 900 until the last moment when 900 calls "STARBOARD!"
  • 800 bears away hard, to try to pass astern of Cadet 900
  • 900 tries to avoid collision by luffing hard when boats are about half a meter apart
  • There is contact with serious damage to Cadet 900 (a hole in side port stern quarter)
  • Cadet 900 capsized after the incident, but after righting, cannot continue and goes to shore
  • Cadet 800 starts and sails the race.
Please give me the usual: Conclusion, Rules and Decision of the PC.


Monday 13 October 2008

Seminar Preparations | 1

Next weekend and the weekend after that two IJ Seminars are going to be held. The first one in Bulgaria (17-19 October) and the second one in Belgium (24-26 October).

To give you some incentive and help - beside all the stuff you can already download from the download page - I will try to come up with some test questions:

Here's number one: (From Dave Perry's 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes)
In a valid protest the following facts were found:
  • Boat X is approaching a downwind finishing line in very light air.
  • There is a strong current moving across the race course.
  • Just before finishing boat X is swept by the current onto the anchor line of the race committee boat marking one end of the finish line.
  • By holding onto the line for about 15 seconds, the crew of X keeps her from touching the committee boat
  • A slight puff of winds fills her sails, enabling X to gain forward speed and finish.
  • Boat Y protests X for touching the mark. RRS 31.
You are in the Protest Committee. What is your conclusion and how would you decide this protest?


Saturday 11 October 2008


Krantz will arrange race without rules

Gurra Krantz will simplify the sailing sport, he wants to arrange a race without rules!

Translated from an article in SEILAS by Mikkel Thommessen
The experienced sailor Gurra Krantz, with a America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race participation behind them, will renew the sailing sport. He believes there's need for simplification.

The well-known Swedish Sailor, in Alicante as Cicerone for Volvo's guests to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race tomorrow, Krantz, who was Helm of the Swedish America's Cup boat "Sweden" in San Diego in 1992 and has four world races behind him, today is a sought after lecturer in management issues.

He has clear views on how sailing can be developed to be more understandable to the public and more interesting for sailors. " Remove all rules, "said Gurra Krantz, " but if there is contact between the boats, disqualify both ".

Krantz plans to try and arrange such a race in Sweden next year. " Something must be done to lift the sailing sport, " he said, referring to the upswing in interest that hockey has had, since someone dared to change the format. " It is impossible to compare sailing and hockey in all aspects, " he said, but continuing: " from being fairly interesting, hockey is now the most interesting of all TV sports".
" Something must be learned from that, " he claims.

Krantz will make it so that it is allowed to touch marks, he will remove rules on mark roundings and the basic keep clear rules.

" Everything is allowed, except for the collision. Then both will be disqualified, " he said.
" If that doesn't work, we begin at the other end and enter simple rules that we need, "

An interesting experiment. I'm eager to see the results.


Friday 10 October 2008

TP Protest Writing Competition Winner

Final voting has been done!
With a late dash to the finish the Winner is: Luigi Bertini !
Well done. Short and sweet with a minimum of clatter.

In the beginning Sen had a lead, then Norm gained momentum, but in the end Luigi pulled it off.
As I have no control over who votes, only that you can only vote once, from every IP address, it couldn't be more democratic......

Luigi, congratulations with your first place. Please send me your post address in a mail and I'll send you the prize. The only - last thing - I will ask of you, is to write a guest post. All winners are interviewed are they not? I'll start writing questions...

Thursday 9 October 2008

ISAF Instructors Conference 2008

Focus On Fair Play At ISAF Instructors Conference.

Delegates at the Conference © ISAF

Fair play in sailing and a cross-discipline, consistent approach for officials were the major topics at the first-ever ISAF conference for Race Official Instructors held over the weekend of 3-5 October at the ISAF Secretariat. Read the full article on the ISAF Website.


Wednesday 8 October 2008

Book Review: 2009-2012 - Rules in Practice by Bryan Willis

One of the side effects of my blogging I hadn't anticipated, occurred last month. I was approached by the publishers of Bryan Willis' book: 2009-2012 Rules in Practice. If I wanted to review the new book and if I knew more sites and blogs about the rules, who might do likewise?

Am I becoming an authority? I didn't set out to, but perhaps that's kidding myself. I have put myself "out there". Give opinions here and on forums etc.... Anyway, here's my view on Bryan's new book:

This is a book written for sailors.
You'll find from pre-start to start, from the beat to the run and from mark roundings to finish, practical situations where boats meet and were rules have to be applied.

Written under the new rules 2009-2012 with all the changes, gross and subtle explained. With the complete new RRS as published by ISAF.

I have always bought this book in the past, because it gives you a good idea about the essential issue in each situation. Something you need to know each time you encounter another boat. What are my rights? Do I have to keep clear or only watch for rule 14? What are my obligations and restrictions? Can I gain or do I need to make sure I don't lose. Each situation is written from the viewpoint of the boats involved. Both from the right of way boat's and from the keep clear boat's point of view.

Nevertheless it is also a book for protest committee members and judges.
Because you can compare the facts found in the protest with the situations in the book and find out if you've thought about all the rules involved. Also, knowing the essential issue in a situation, lets you focus your questions and come to the point quicker. This means shorter protest hearings and less waiting for competitors.

Bryan Willes has written in his introduction something a wholeheartedly agree with:
" What you need to know out there on the water are your rights and your obligations; what you are allowed to do, and what you must and mustn't do. You need to know them automatically and subconsciously, so that you can concentrate on manoeuvring and sailing fast, to exploit the situation to the full. It is just as satisfying to come away from a mark in the lead having approached it in second place as it is to spend twenty minutes overhauling your rival with superior boat speed. Conversely, there is no satisfaction in sailing faster than everyone else on a leg if you throw away your position through being uncertain about your rights and obligations when you come to round the mark. "

If you want to have a look at this book, got to, where you will be able to read a sample chapter and have a look at the pictures.

Those pictures might need some getting used to. Al new, colorful Three-Dee boats with helmsmen and all. Perhaps a little over the top?

All in all a very good book to get to know the rules. For new sailors just starting out at their first regatta and for old hands who need to know what has changed in this rule cycle.

If Wiley Nautical had not send it to me, I have no doubt I would have purchased it again!


Tuesday 7 October 2008

ISAF Submissions 2008 part 3 | Call Books

Final part in this series about Submission for the ISAF November conference deals with calls for the Team - and Match Race call books:
  1. Submission 155-08: Deletion of Team Race Calls: B5, D9, D10, E9 and J2. They are all no longer relevant under the new rules.
  2. Submission 156-08: Deletion of Match Race Calls: Call MR 26 because it no longer has standing under the new rules.
  3. Submission 157-08: New Team Race Call D9, to clarify the circumstances under which mark-room includes room to tack and how the new exoneration rule is to be applied in those situations.
  4. Submission 158-08: New Team Race Call D10. The call is needed to clarify details around the new rules about obstructions, and to provide consistency in umpiring a situation that occurs in team racing.
  5. Submission 159-08: New Team Race Call H5. When rule 18.2(b) applies between two boats and the boat entitled to mark-room is taking the mark-room to which she is entitled, she will be exonerated under rule 18.5 (b) for breaking rule 16 when she is rounding a mark on her proper course. When the change of course is not consistent with rounding the mark on her proper course, a breach of rule 16 will not be exonerated.
  6. Submission 160-08: New Team Race Call M7; A new Call based on Rapid Response Team Racing Call 2008/002 about taking penalties.
  7. Submission 161-08: New Team Race Call M8; A new Call based on Rapid Response Team Racing Call 2008/003 about penalties initiated by Umpires - Breach of Sportmanship
  8. Submission 162-08: New Team Race Call J6; A new Call based on Rapid Response Team Racing Call 2008/004 edited to comply with the 2009-2012 Rules. About breaking an overlap near a leeward mark.
  9. Submission 163-08: New Team Race Call L6; A new Call based on Rapid Response Team Racing Call 2008/005 about sailing back to a previous leg and rule 22.2
With maybe a few changes in wording, these Calls will all make it into the Call books.They are based on Rapid Response Calls and therefore went already trough a thorough "vetting" process.

Sunday 5 October 2008

Match Race Training TT; uncertainty factor

This weekend I attended a Match Race Training for our National Talent Team. But instead of sailing today we spend the day in a class-room setting, going over cases, rules and tactics, because the wind was blowing to hard to go out on the water. WindGuru predicted a change around noon, but it never panned out.

One of the discussions we had, was about the uncertainty factor of proper course
In the following diagram Blue and Yellow are on the downwind leg of the course to a gate.
Yellow to windward has to keep clear under RRS 11. Blue - having established an overlap to leeward within two boat lengths - may not sail above her proper course under rule 17.1

In position two Yellow calls with Yankee because she wants to go to the SB-end gate mark. The umpires answer with Green.

In position three Yellow again shows the Yankee-flag. She has reached lay line to the P-end gate mark and wants to gybe. Blue should not sail any further and gybe too. Again the umpires signal Green.

Umpires always operate under the basic principle that they will green flag any incident, unless they both are certain a rule has broken. In this incident Blue- the r.o.w. boat - has not yet reached her lay line to the P-end gate mark. Therefore she is not sailing above her proper course and not breaking RRS 17.1.

The uncertainty of the exact lay line will grow depending many factors. The first one is the distance to the gate. The further away, the longer Blue can continue in this position
Only when the gate is very close and there is no doubt that Blue "oversailed", will she get a penalty for breaking rule 17.1

Which gate-mark is going to be used to determine the lay line - even when the SB-end is positioned favorable - is not something umpire are willing to decide.

Knowing all this, what should the answer be from the umpire on Yellow's Yankee in position four?


Friday 3 October 2008

VOR: Ericsson Race Team Submission VOR3

Ericsson has filed a request to be issued a valid Measurement Certificate and contents that the Keel is not solid. Request in Full. (It is a Zip file,)

This will mean a busy night for the Jury if they want to give a decision before tomorrows In Port Race. But Ericsson can race anyway, so if the verdict comes later, only the scoring needs to be adjusted.

Also the final In Port and Pro Am Sailing Instructions have been published. Working with an amended version of addendum Q the umpires will have their work cut out for them chasing the Volvo Open 70s.

Finally the Racing Rules have also been amended.

2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race – Exceptions to RRS
After consulting the Chairman of the Racing Rules Committee I can confirm to you that the International Sailing Federation has allowed the organizing authority of the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race to change in Rule 18 the definition of the two boat length zone to three boat lengths, as per RRS 86.2.

The International Sailing Federation has also allowed the organizing authority of the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race to delete RRS 16.2 and RRS 17.2 as per RRS 86.2.

These changes apply to the In Port Races of the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race. As per RRS 86.2 this authorisation should be stated in the NoR, SIs and posted on the event’s official notice board. End Quote

A small taste of things to come for all sailors next year. Mind you, only the three lengths have been altered. The rest of rule 18 is not (yet) amended.


Thursday 2 October 2008

Volvo Ocean Race Jury Decision JN04

It's time to have a look at the Volvo Ocean Race.
For a couple of day's I've been reading up on the Volvo Ocean Race Official Noticeboard. All official notices to competitors are published there. No physical board could do that job for this special race, so a virtual one has been created. Accessible by all who have an Internet connection.

Today a Jury decision was published regarding the Keel of Ericsson Racing Team (ERT). Perhaps you have heard the story already?

In short: Keels have to be completely solid to comply with the rules of the Measurement Certificate. Ericsson's had a couple of holes in it, which the team attempted to fill with steel rods. That procedure however did not do the job completely, apparently the diameter of the rods were to small and some voids were left. Voids creating a 0,625 kg weight advantage, which now has been compensated with a corrector weight in the boat. But even with that corrector weight the boat still does not comply with the Measurement Certificate.

In order to race without a valid Measurement Certificate the Jury has to give permission. They gave permission in this decision, but also imposed an additional condition. As long as the keel remains in non-compliance with the rule, ERT will be scored with extra points:

From the Jury decision:
" Whilst benefiting from this permission, ERT shall be penalized by the deduction of one point at the conclusion of any day in which there has been one or more In Port races; by one point at each Scoring Waypoint; and by two points at the conclusion of each Leg. However her score shall not be less than 'zero points' in each instance."

You can read the whole document: VOR-3-decision

Pretty strict, don't you think? No measurable advantage from those small voids in the keel, compensated with adequate weight correction and on top of that a scoring penalty?

The Jury emphasized in it's motivation:
"In recognition of the importance that the Jury places on all boats in a race being fully rule compliant and in possession of a Measurement Certificate, the Jury considers it appropriate to impose a further condition"

The Measurement Certificate is a vital part of this race and must be valid. No slack, the differences would be uncontrollable otherwise. I agree. What is your opinion?

Foto: Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race

Latest news: Ericsson are seeking a reopening


TP 52 Protest Writing Competition; FINALS

The polls have closed on the first round in our TP 52 Protest writing competition. It was a close call indeed. At first Luigi ran from well behind, but in the last days he has come back strongly.

For boat pair 1 (Boat c vs D) Luigi and Norm ran neck on neck until the very end. Because the final outcome was an undecided, I have included them BOTH in the finals: you can vote for one of them.
1_Luigi Bertini TP52 Protest CvsD
1_Norm Smit TP52 Protest CvsD

Final poll stats: 28 people voted, exactly 50% for each

Luigi send in the only protest about pair 2 (boat F vs E) so that has earned him a second spot in the finals:
2_Luigi Bertini TP52 Protest FvsE

Finally our contestant from Japan. He beat Luigi (agian) with a single vote in boat pair 3 (boat G vs F):
3_Sen Yamaoka TP52 Protest GvsF

Final poll stats: 27 people voted, 2 (7% for Hedwich, 11 (40%) for Luigi, 2 (7%) for Mike and 12 (44%) for Sen.

As with the first round, you can vote for the finalist in the poll in the sidebar.
Winner will receive the Magnetic Protest Boat Kit, free of charge.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Knowingly breaking a rule

or - When to apply the basic principle? -
Guest Post by Luis Leal de Faria

Here is a thought that I would like to share with you and your readers:

In the same report that you mention in your post "Informing the boat within the time limit?" (06 September 2008), there is another issue which for me, is of utmost importance: just at the first paragraph we can read "There was concern about the extent to which sailors; particularly in the 420 class were knowingly infringing rule 31.2, and part 2 rules without taking penalties".

One may say that society is no longer as it was, sailors behavior is no longer as it was and all that bla bla, but it is my opinion that we, judges, mainly international judges, share a great deal of responsibility in that situation.

the Basic Principle "Sportsmanship and the Rules"

From the very first time that I was a member of an International Jury, at that time only as a national judge, I was surprised to see how reluctant judges are in applying the appropriate rules and penalties to boats who, being aware of having broken a rule, did nothing about it. Formerly there was Fundamental Rule D, now we have the Basic Principle "Sportsmanship and the Rules" and rule 2. The result in infringing either former Fundamental Rule D or current rule 2 is the same: DNE (formerly DND).

However, very seldom I see these rules applied. Also very seldom I hear the question "why didn't you take a penalty or retire?" or "did you know that you broke a rule?". More surprisingly to me, also very seldom a penalty of DNE is applied, even after the Jury knows that the competitor was aware of having broken a rule. It is also very rare that I hear any mention of the Basic Principle, the very first rule in the rulebook. However, it is not so uncommon to hear judges complaining of this sort of behavior from sailors.

As a competitor, I once protested a boat for breaking a basic rule (then rule 36, now rule10) and, both in the protest form and at the hearing, I mentioned the infringement of Fundamental Rule D. The protestee acknowledged being aware of the infringement at the time of the incident and not having taken a penalty nor retired, but even though the protest committee did not apply Fundamental Rule D.

Apply rule 2 more often....

If Protest Committees and, mainly International Juries, who are supposed to apply and enforce the rules above everybody else in the sport, do not apply them, why would the sailors care to apply them? It is my strong belief that if we, judges, would apply rule 2 more often to competitors who, being aware of having broken a rule, did not take a penalty nor retired from the race, certainly that sort of attitude would be discouraged and much less common. Sailing would certainly benefit from that.

Your comments are invited.
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