Monday 22 December 2008

Sail Melbourne 2008 & LTW Q&A | 16

I had a mail exchange with one of the judges at Sail Melbourne. (We know each other through other events). He send me a mail telling something about the event and has an interesting question to ask. I've copied his words below (and left out some of the personal stuff).

Hi Jos

The regatta was relatively small with about 200 competitors from 19 countries, sailing on two courses. The atmosphere was very relaxed and the behavior of the fleet quite good, with a relatively small number of rule 42 penalties and only five protests.
Moving the regatta to December to avoid a clash with Miami - but outside the traditional holiday period in Australia - has been a bit of challenge for the organizers and made it a little more difficult to get the vast number of volunteers required to run such an event. However, from what I have seen, they have succeeded and things are running quite smoothly. Importantly, the feed-back from the sailors is very positive as it fits quite nicely with other regattas.

We didn’t have anything very challenging in the rules area but did have a lively discussion on the last day when a competitor wanted to withdraw a protest. The incident was a rule 18 issue at the last leeward mark – which I happened to see. One Radial was on port and the other on starboard, a lot of shouting and a small bump as the boats rounded the mark. A protest was lodged within the time limit.

The protestor later came to the room and asked to withdraw the protest because there was no benefit to her as the other boat would drop this and the overall result would not change between them. There was no suggestion of parents being involved or coercion, threats or bullying. The sailors were mature age (? 20’s).

The jury then deliberated on whether or not to allow the protest to be withdrawn – the two sides of the argument being as follows:
  • The protest should be heard as there had obviously been a breach of the rules and someone needed to be penalized for it.
  • The protestor should be allowed to withdraw the protest as there was no coercion, threats, bullying or other bad behavior, no damage and the (alleged) breach did not effect the overall results. The protestor felt it did not serve any useful purpose.
I argued to allow the withdrawal. What do you think?


I had this discussion in several jurys and think it's a good idea to draft some sort of policy on this issue; When do we allow a protest to be withdrawn? I'll have a look in my files, to see if I can find my previous criteria. In the meantime please give us your opinion....


Sunday 21 December 2008

Christmas 'Down Under'

Sail Melbourne has its final day today. One of the judges in the IJ send me a 'Christmas Card':

I'm not at all jealous of the fine sailing weather 'down under'. A white Christmas may be everybody ideal, but I would prefer a little sunshine. Thanks Peter! (See you in Kiel)

For those who are interested, there is a page with protest results, but alas not many details. Peter did write they had a pretty slow week, so far.


Friday 19 December 2008

FTBD (13) & National Classes

Thursday 18 December 2008 23:59 (in my mind, anyway)
With a little back timing, I'm able to post Flog The Blog Day #13. One Year, One Month, (One day). You know what to do. (If you don't, try searching with FTBD as label)

The reason I'm so late in posting, is that I just returned from a meeting at the national office of our MNA: the "Watersportverbond". Where a heated discussion was held with representatives from (national) class associations, race organizing clubs and the sector committee for racing. In order to stem the tide of ever increasing diversity of classes against a decrease in numbers who race, we discussed a proposal of the committee to reduce the number of recognized national classes. In that proposal they suggested raising the number of boats at which a class could be recognized as a 'national' class from 50 to 75. Number of measured boats that is. And if a class dropped below 20 measurement certificates, it would not even be a class anymore. They would be reduced to some sort of third rate boat, still able to race, but only with a handicap - factor (rating), calculated from a simple set of measurements (sail area, length, depth etc)

A lot of classes who were either on the edge for national class or at the border of being dropped showed up, to show their worry about this development.

We could all agree that something must be done to get healthy classes again and more people in boats racing. But to reduce some classes to 'unmeasured' with the stroke of a pen, was a little to much. The proposal was withdrawn, with a a firm understanding that we need to get new ideas to get people sailing.

Personally I would applaud a simple rule that lets any boat compete. That way I can also accommodate that recreational sailor who wants to participate in my club's annual regatta. We need more freedom to let people experience the joy of sailing in a friendly competitive race. If we only allow one design classes, I loose potential 'customers' at my club.

One of the discussion points was the rise in 'factory' build classes. straight from the rack who are available for low cost and are popping up at sailing schools, recreational areas and the like. boats like Bic and Picco. Smart from a commercial point of view, but not very helpful for getting bigger fields at a starting line.

We also need more attractive racing for people in the age group of 18 till 35. The time people start going to higher educations (students) until first job, start of a family and then coming back to racing. If we look at the curve they are the age-group who have a sharp drop in racing.

I was wondering how these developments were handled in the rest of the world. I imagine that something similar is happening in other countries. Do you have any ideas how to get better attendance in one design classes? (national or international) Please leave a comment how things are done in your country.
And tell me something about the number of (only) national classes, and their rise or decline in recent years....

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Cup Skipper?

J: "I'm going Match Racing this Christmas!"

O: "Match Racing in the Low Lands, in December? Are you nuts?"

J: "Of course, everybody who's doing Match Racing has a loose screw, didn't you know that?"

O: "You're having me on" sigh: "I can tell by that crooked smile on you face"

J: "No, I'm not, I'm going Match Racing this Christmas, as soon as my boats arrive"

O: "Boats? Now you have lost me completely"

J: "Yes, I"ve ordered four, with four red marks and a lake...."

O: I'm giving up, what the H are you talking about?

J: "You can play too, come round, have a drink and I'll race you."
"Here, have a look:"

Monday 15 December 2008

ISAF Submissions 2008 part 4 | Race Officials: COMMITTEE VOTES

The minutes of the meetings held at the Madrid conference are published on the ISAF website. In order to see what has become of the submissions, I had a look on how the committees voted and asked ISAF about the final Council decision. This is what I found:

I used these abbreviations:

IJSC = International Judges Sub-committee
IUSC = International Umpires Sub-committee
IMSC = International Measurers Sub-committee
RMSC = Race Management Sub-committee
ROC = Race Officials Committee
RRC = Racing Rules Committee

Reject = Rejected (or recommended to be rejected by the council)
Appr. = Approved (or recommended to be approved by the council)
Defer = Defer Submission
NS = Noted, No discussion
- = not considered

(All text in Italic are my comments or remarks)

Submission 022-08 to bring the fee for a deputy chief umpire in line with the (increased) responsibilities such as training a new chief umpire.

- APPR. - - APPR. -

(Fees after 18 November 2008: € 85,- for Umpires & €125,- for CU)

ISAF: This submission was merged with 055-08 and approved by council. CU, DCU and Ump fees are for racing days plus days of required attendance plus 2 days (travel days). We apply from 15 Nov 2009

Submission 024-08 about better representation of the MNA's in the Olympic Jury by restricting the number of times a Race Official can do an Olympic (two times) and asking for 30% new members.


(Only one Committee noted the possible conflict of interest)

ISAF: Council decision: Rejected

Submission 055-08 to apply the fees for match race umpires to scheduled racing days, not practice days.

- APPR. - - APPR. -

ISAF: See 022, 055 was withdrawn.

Submission 131-08. This submission, if successful, would incorporate IFDS International Classifiers within the ISAF Race Officials Committee in line with Executive Committee discussions with the IFDS. The intention is that the International Classifiers Sub-Committee (ICSC) would be formed early in 2009 and that the first appointments of International Classifiers under the ISAF would be made in November 2009.

- - - - DEFER -

ISAF: Defer to Nov 09 to establish proper procedures how to implement

Submission 132-08 proposes that Race officials be recommended by their MNA not only for their first appointment, but also for renewals. Based on the argument that a appointed race official should contribute to their own MNA in sharing knowledge and help with education.


(No help for MNA's for wayward RO's, I'm afraid)

ISAF: Council Decision: Rejected

Submission 133-08 proposes to bring the deadline for umpire assessment into line with the other deadlines (seminars & written test). [On a personal note; this I could have used in 2007!]

- APPR. - - APPR. -

(Practical instead of regulatory, without losing quality)

ISAF: Council decision: Approved, all under ISAF control is now 14 Oct

Submission 134-08 is about correcting an error in the regulations last year. Only umpires who send in their application for first appointment, need to hand in three IUSC Reference forms. Not umpires who apply for renewal.


ISAF: Council decision: Approved

Submission 135-08 When a candidate for IU has failed the examination twice, this submission proposes that a third attempt may only be done after a positive decision from the chairman of the IUSC and that any subsequent attempt may not take place, within four years the failed third time. And only when all requirements of first application have been fulfilled. Three strikes you're out, but you can start again from scratch.

- APPR. - - APPR. -

(The period when you can start again will most likely be two instead of four years)

ISAF: Council decision: Approved with a change to 2 years (instead of 4)

Submission 136-08 about the criteria for International Measurer.

- - APPR. - APPR. -

ISAF: Council decision: Approved

Submission 137-08 proposes to bring the requirements for first appointment of a race officer in line with the other disciplines by requiring three reference forms.

- - - APPR. APPR. -

ISAF: Council decision: Approved

Submission 138-08 proposes to have a "recognized" race official who can function in all respects as an international race official, but does not have to meet the requirements in experience. This so that he/she can get that experience in a period of four years and then apply for IJ/IU/IRM - status.


(Most were concerned about the amount of 'paperwork' benefiting only a few, but suggested alternative support ideas)

ISAF: Submission was withdrawn due to lack of support.

Submission 139-08 to bring the hearing process in case of a negative report in line with regulation 51.


ISAF: Council decision: Approved

Submission 140-08 to inform the chairman of the relevant Sub-committee even in case of a "minor" negative report about a race official.


ISAF: Council decision: Approved

Submission 150-08 to give the authority to the Racing Rules Committee to deal with the introductory racing rules.


ISAF: Council decision: Approved

Submission D133-07 to rename International Race Officers into International Race Managers on the argument that Officers is to close to Officials.

- - - REJECT Withdrawn -

(Once a name is in use....)

ISAF: Withdrawn by the ROC Chairman due to lack of support from RMSC

ISAF: Another submission of interest for umpires: 116-08, which was approved with very minor amendments.

I haven't had time to study this one. I'll get back to it when I can.

You can read the full minutes on the ISAF Website.

Oh, before I forget, Thanks HC! for your prompt answers.


Saturday 13 December 2008

Synopsis RRS 2005-2008 v RRS 2009-2012 V2

I almost missed it completely; already up on the Rule 2 Blog / Sailing Media website since November 26, the second version of Willii Gohl's Synopsis RRS 2005 – 2008 with RRS 2009 – 2012 Version 2 .
Excellent to compare the differences and quickly read those rules which are relevant to you.
Go check it out.

Friday 12 December 2008

Mount Fuji, a Christmas Photo from Japan

Opti club regatta with Sacred Mt.Fuji in the background.

As thanks for a mail I answered, Sen send me this photo, which I wanted to share with you. A welcome sight in these cold and dark days. It's on average 4 or 5 degrees here in the Netherlands and below zero at night. Brrrrr...


US Race Officer Training & Certification

My Google alert on Racing Rules of Sailing mailed me today that the first Race Officer Training & Certification seminar in 2009 will be held at the White Rock Boat Club, Dallas, Texas USA.

The US SAILING Race Management Committee, Area F, and the Texoma Sailing Club are sponsoring this seminar. It is designed for people who have some race committee experience. However, newcomers are also welcome. It will be held at the Texoma Sailing Club beginning at 0900 on Saturday, January 24, 2009 and will end by 1800. The topics covered include: RC objectives, competition formats, notice of race, sailing instructions, RC jobs, RC equipment, race day preparations, setting the course, starts, during the race, finishing, post-race RC responsibilities and scoring.  Read the full post: (red: no longer available)

In order to prepare, participants are asked to study a basic test available on the US Sailing Website: RMStudy-Basic.pdf
This is the first test I've come across which is rewritten for the 2009-2012 rules.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

UK-Halsey Blog becomes Rules Group

News from UK-Halsey Rules Blog:


Already announced in an earlier post. I have subscribed and will keep you informed how this is going to work. I was surprised that Butch has decided to discontinue the blog, but understand it might be difficult to write about the rules in two places....

I hope this new forum will contribute in better rules-knowledge for everyone.

RRS 2009-2012; Luffing inside the zone?

In the new RRS 2009 - 2012 a new definition is introduced:

Mark-Room Room for a boat to sail to the mark, and then room to sail her proper course while at the mark. However, mark-room does not include room to tack unless the boat is overlapped to windward and on the inside of the boat required to give mark-room.

The diagram has a Blue boat until position 4 and
then splits off in a Blue 5 and a light Blue 5.
The same for Yellow

In the diagram above Blue and Yellow enter the zone (three lengths) overlapped, with Yellow as inside boat. Blue must keep clear under rule 11 and must give mark-room under rule 18.2(b)
Yellow has an additional restriction according to rule 18.4. She shall not sail farther from the mark than needed to sail her proper course until she gybes.

After the gybe, Blue must still give mark-room but becomes r-o-w boat under rule 11. Yellow must keep clear and is entitled to mark-room.

My question is: When has Blue the right to luff?
Inside, before Yellow has left the zone OR must Blue wait until Yellow has left the zone?

Rule 18.2(c) states that rule 18.2(b) (the rule that gave mark room to Yellow) ceases to apply when Yellow leaves the zone. But does this give Yellow any protection?
She is no longer sailing to the mark, and she is no longer at the mark rounding it. Yellow has left the mark astern and it is no longer an issue..... She doesn't need mark-room anymore...

So is Blue entitled to luff in the zone or not?
I have formed a tentative answer, but would like to hear your opinion.


Monday 8 December 2008

New Call-Books for Match & Team Racing | 2

New on the ISAF Site:

CALL Book for Match Racing 2009-2012

CALL Book for Team Racing 2009-2012


Both have been 'upgraded' to the new rules. I haven't had time to read them, let alone compare them to the previous versions. So, if you do and find interesting or enlightening insights, don't hesitate to send in a post!

Details of key updates in the new editions are below.

ISAF Call Book for Match Racing

The ISAF Call Book for Match Racing was first published in 1992 and is now in its seventh edition.

There are three sections in the Call Book:

- 'General' - covering some issues that apply to many call situations
- 'Umpire' - limited to rules (or parts of rules) that are not amended by Appendix C, the Appendix of The Racing Rules of Sailing relating specifically to Match Racing Rules
- 'Match Racing' - relating to situations involving the rules of Appendix C

The 2009-2012 edition of the Call Book has been revised to reflect the changes to new edition of the The Racing Rules of Sailing and Appendix C. Most of the changes are simply changes to the rules references, but some of the calls have changed significantly as a result of the changes to the rules about marks and obstructions.

The biggest changes from the 2005-2008 edition of the Call Book are:

- In calls UMP 6, 22, 24, 30 and 34
- MR 26 has been deleted
- UMP 8, 15, 23, 25, 31 and MR 5, 9, 20 were deleted in 2005
- This edition also includes several new calls, submitted as Rapid Response Calls, and subsequently approved by the ISAF Racing Rules Committee. These calls have been added at the end of each section

Please note, that although some calls are deleted the remaining calls have not been renumbered. This means that for instance MR 27 now follows directly after MR 25.

ISAF Call Book for Team Racing

The ISAF Call Book for Team Racing was first published in 2001 and is now in its fourth edition.

Whilst most of the changes in the latest edition are simply changes in references, there are some significant game changes involved and sailors and umpires are well advised to study the new call book in detail!

The following is an incomplete list of changes:

- Calls B5, D9, D10 and E9 are deleted. When a call is deleted, the numbers of remaining calls do not change. However, a new call may be inserted using the call number of a deleted call
- New calls in this edition of the call book are D9, D10, J6, J7, L6, M7 and M8. They have all been submitted through the rapid response system and subsequently approved by the ISAF Racing Rules Committee
- The decisions in calls B6, B8, E2, E6, F2 and L2 are completely or partially changed
In addition, there are significant changes in calls A6, E1, E3, E5, E7, E8, G6, H1, H2, H4, J2, J3, J4, J5, M1 and M2.


Sunday 7 December 2008

Equipment in normal position?

A decision straight from the rulebook, more specifically from the definition of 'finish';

At the Monsoon cup the winner of the World tour was decided in a Jury decision after a request for redress on who won the match between Peter Gilmour and Sebastien Col. From a post on Valencia Sailing:
Monsoon semi finals leaders focused and on fire

This request for redress was about that one example we all use when we explain about "normal position" in the definition of finish. Whether or not the spinnaker sheets are eased to get to the line earlier...
Here are the pictures:

Gilmour was back on the water for the first match of his semi final battle with Mirsky after winning the final and fifth race in his quarter final battle against Col in controversial circumstances.

Before reading what the Jury decided, you can decide yourself based on the pictures above and the following facts:All the parties accepted that the black spinnaker went over first (Gilmour) and the bow went over afterwards (Col). There wasn’t any contention about the facts.

Who won the match?

This is what the Jury decided:

Jury Chair Bill Edgerton explained the decision to award the final match to Gilmour. “The race committee evidence was that Peter Gilmour’s spinnaker went across first and Sebastien Col’s bow went over first. There is this thing (red: definition finish) about gear in its normal position. Both parties accepted that was the situation on the water. Then it was just a matter of whether the spinnaker was in its normal position or not. When they are reaching at 90 degrees, dropping the kite, that is where the kite would be in a normal manoeuvre.

“All the parties accepted that the spinnaker went over first and the bow went over afterwards. There wasn’t any contention about the facts. It was a question whether the spinnakers would be counted as part of the boat or not, if they deliberately eased the spinnaker to get a finish. They didn’t. They were both in the process of dropping their spinnakers.”

The Jury decision effectively handed Ian Williams the 2008 ISAF World Match Racing Championship trophy.
You can follow the live action on Sail TV


Saturday 6 December 2008

UK-Halsey Quiz program & Forum

From the UK-Halsey newsletter:


UK-Halsey is taking pre-orders for our Updated Rules Quiz program, the ideal holiday gift for the racing sailor. The new program offers more than just an update to the new rules.
Yes, some of the quiz answers have changed because of the 2009 rule changes. Yes, some of the animations have been redone to reflect such things as the change from a two-boatlength zone to the three-boatlength zone.
Yes, we have included all of the new rules of Part Two of the rule book. And yes, advances in programming have made using the quizzes easier. But "there's more” as the late-night TV commercials would say, and two are HUGE changes.
First, we have done away with the physical CD: the Rules Quiz program will now be downloadable immediately - no more waiting for the postman to show up. Updates will be automatic each time you go on line.


Second, the updated Quiz Program comes as part of a one-year subscription to The Rules Group. The Rules Group is a membership organization open to all racing sailors, judges, PROs, instructors and others for the fee of $55 per year. Membership allows access to a private rules and race management forum that will have continually updated commentary by experts like Rob Overton, one of the authors of the new rules, Bryan Willis, author of his own book on the rules, International Judge Mary Savage, America's Cup PRO Peter Reggio and Butch Ulmer, our own in-house rules expert The forum will provide a broad array of rules-related benefits, interpretations of the game-changes and explanations of the resulting tactical implications.
Perhaps the most significant benefit will be the access members have to these and other international experts to respond to their individual questions. Members of The Rules Group will be able to profit from in-depth discussions of the rules and to receive group as well as individual advice. This has been described by some as "having your own sea lawyer on retainer.”
Information posted to The Rules Group forum will only be available to members. If you want to have the upper hand rules-wise, this is the group to be a member of. As UK-Halsey's Butch Ulmer says, "A good understanding of the rules is worth two or three places in every major regatta you sail in.” For $55, this is be a "no-brainer.” For owners of the Rules Quiz CD, the upgrade price is $40. The Rules Group forum will be launched January 1st, but the updated quiz download will be ready sooner.

HOLIDAY RULES GIFT PACKAGES The Ultimate Rules Package: The Updated Rules Quiz Download with a one year subscription to the UK-Halsey Rules Group, Dave Perry's new book, "Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012,” and Bryan Willis' book "The Rules in Practice, 2009-2012". The books will be shipped out right away along with a gift certificate for the Quiz Download so that you can wrap this bundle and put it under the tree. Cost is $100; $85 for owners of the Rules Quiz CD.

Just the Books: For half the price of the Ultimate Rules Package, you can have the two best books on the new Racing Rules of Sailing -- Dave Perry's new book, "Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012,” and Bryan Willis' book "The Rules in Practice, 2009-2012.” (See the UK-Halsey Rules Blog for reviews of each book, they both teach the rules from complementary perspectives.) Cost is $50 for both books.

Given the far-flung places where our members reside, shipping costs for the books must be added individually; we will confirm this prior to closing your order. Standard shipping in the USA is Priority mail and the cost is $7 for one or both books. International Airmail is $16. Overnight shipping is available, just e-mail for a quote.


Friday 5 December 2008

Serverchange for Download Documents

Just received an E-mail from my provider that the server address where I keep all documents, will change this weekend. This will mean you will have no access to those documents in the night between 8 and 9 December from midnight till six (MET). I will check the links after this move has been completed and - if needed - will change them. If you come across a document you must have, but is unaccessible, please send me an email.

Nominations for ISAF Committee members 2009-2012

Every four years at the ISAF November conference all committees are reshuffled.
The nominations for those are published on the ISAF website:
Nominations for ISAF Committee members for 2009-2012

The appointment of committee members is a complex process and they are not finalized yet.
The procedure is:
  • MNA to submit their committee member proposal by 31 July
  • A list with proposed allocations (made by the old Exec) was published during the November Conference
  • The new Exec had to review the recommendations
  • The final recommendations are sent to Council for ratification
  • Council will approve the list before mid January
  • ISAF will publish the new committees in January
I have not yet been able to find new minutes of the judges- umpires- and race officials (sub) committees, so I can't yet report back on all the decisions.
I had hoped to find out by asking the new chairman, but I don't yet know, whom to ask.


Tuesday 2 December 2008

Lost and Found; Italian style

I shortly told you about the beginning of my Italian adventure and about loosing my bag in transit in this post: AMS-ROMA-MILAN BRINDISI BARI >>Brindisi
That was a short post written on Saturday-afternoon after racing, just before we went out to dinner. The story below is what happened that day and goes on after that....

After a short night - I arrived at four in the morning - I met Chief Umpire Marek at the breakfast table and we talked about the coming day. Nice guy with all preparations ready and a positive attitude. Actually, the whole atmosphere of the event was positive; meeting organizers, sailors and the rest of the team, at the beautiful located club facilities of 'Circolo della Vela Brindisi'. The day went without any hiccups and we sailed 11 flights with 22 matches below the massive stone fortress in the harbor.

After sailing and debrief, Livio (the guy in charge of this event) took as to a very nice place for the evening meal, I guess it was his favorite place called: "trattoria Pantagruele" because he knew the owner and all the waiters and was invited to the kitchen to choose our meal.

An entrée of different very tasty bits of fish, shell food, shrimps and sunder. After that we had as a main course a gigantic local fish called 'Orata'. Very tasty! And dark on dark chocalate as dessert... THAT they can do, those Italians, they can cook!

We talked about live and sailing and I learned some Italian customs and peculiarities; For instance, asking about the difference between 'trattoria' and 'restaurante', is asking about taxes. Who serves what, at what price? Don't ask, even Italians don't know. And, you don't drink cappuccino during the day, only for breakfast. The rest of the day you drink coffee, which to any non-Italian means: very strong Espresso!

With some local red 'Brindisi' wine and with this relaxed atmosphere, all in all a very nice conclusion of the day. Due to my late arrival the night before and that 4th glass, I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow....

Oh, before you ask; not a word from the airport about my missing luggage, even thought flights were resumed in the afternoon, including incoming flights from Milan, Rome and Bari, which could have brought it.... if anybody had an idea where it was....

Next morning we - yes I'm talking multiple persons here - Antonio, the Portuguese umpire and I visited the 'Lost and Found' desk at the airport again. Antonio arrived on Saturday end of the morning due to getting stuck in Milan and, yes you've guessed it, also without his luggage!
My bag was - according to the information - in Rome, Antonio's was still not located...
What to do? Leave it in Rome and pick it upon the way back? I had two hours transfer time, might be able to do it.... Or get it to Brindisi, so I could change a shirt and underwear at least, before going home....

The girl behind the counter, pulled out a much used book with handwritten pages of telephone numbers and starting dialing numbers - it seemed at random - to try to get someone of baggage handling in Romo Fuimicino airport..... Oh boy, this is going to go smoothly... I thought.
Five conversation later she tells me she can't reach the correct person and I will have to come back. She will phone the club about progress...... yeaa, right!@*&^%%$#....No contact would mean the bag would probably be send on to Brindisi, but on which flight, was anybody's guess.

The second day was good sailing weather..... if you wanted to do a fleet race. But the gusts where above 30 knots and after some waiting and checking of the forecasts, racing was canceled for that day. The winner could easily be declared from the results of the previous day, with the two ties for 2-3 and 6-7 decided in favor of the winner of the matches between the tied competitors.

I'm writing pieces of the draft of this story in the airplane back to Rome, so I have to interrupt for an intermezzo:

The two guys serving as cabin crew are doing a sort of show up in front. You know, the safety demonstration they HAVE to do, before take off.... These two guys have it down to an art. One is droning in the microphone at a phenomenal speed, while the other does a sort of kung-fu dance showing the exits. To top it of, the dancing purser puts on a clearly much used life-jacket, which I would not dare show anybody as being anything close to reliable and starts pulling red tabs:
"incaseofemergency thelifejacketislocated belowyourseat putitoveryourhead andtiestraps aroundyourback pullredtabstoinflate butdon'tdoinsidetheplane therearetubestotopoffifneeded and theemergencylightcomeson whenemergedintowater hopeyouenjoythisflight...." in Italian this takes twice as long, but the speed increases exponentially.

Without blinking and clearly taking the whole lack of attention of everybody in the plane in his stride, the guy now wearing a yellow bib (life jacket) started down the aisle for seatbelt inspection. I looked at my neighbor and we both chuckled at the "don't give a damn, we bloody well going to enjoy doing this" attitude, these two projected.....

Anyway, back to the story:

Due to our finishing early and not having heard anything from the girls at the airport in 'Lost and Found', I decide to go there early. I could do some translation work on my lap-top and be able to pester them about my bag at the same time. I already checked out of the hotel, anyway.

You see, I did something very stupid myself. I put my car-keys in my check-inn bag, not in my hand-luggage. Thinking "I don't need those during the flight, I might as well...." NEVER will I do that again.!!! I had all kinds of ideas running trough my head about how to get me, in my car, back home without the actual keys.
I was therefore very anxious in getting that bloody bag back... not so much as to all my gear, but due to the fact it would be very nearly impossible to get home in my car.... phone a friend, get him to drive to Schiphol with spare keys, where are those spare keys?....I might even have to stay another day in Rome, I thought..... better let my employer know if this happens..... but my phone is dead and the effing charger is in the bag... - sigh -

After talking to the lady at the desk, we come up with a two way plan:
She would check the incoming flight of Airone - the same one I was booked on to leave - and see if my bag was send with it. She would get it off the belt - I could not go there myself - hand it over and after that, I could check in. This had to take place in 55 minutes--- 25 if you count last check in time. With security check and getting to the plane, this was cutting it very close.
Or, if all that failed, I would fly to Rome and see if I could get my bag back there, hoping it wasn't send with a flight an hour later, coming to Brindise while I was going the other way...

After a - somewhat restless - afternoon, this was set in motion.... My plane was suppose arrive at 1750 and leave at 18:45:

17:50: no plane,
18:00: no plane, but the green "Now arriving" light on the boards started blinking
18:05: passengers?
18:10: with bags coming out of the baggage claim area.
18:12: boards now show that the plane landed at 17:57!
18:15: I catch a glimpse trough the sliding doors of the Lost&Found lady with a red bag.... Could it be?
18:17 YES! She comes out with two bags, one of them mine!

First thing I do, is take my car keys out and put it in my pocket... Doing that, I notice the outside is soaked... Opening it, I discover that the inside is wet as well.... I conclude it was left out on the tarmac in the rain for at least a couple of hours, bloody I-TY *(^&&*%&......
Stay calm J, you got it back!

"You will have to sign for it" and she hands me a ledger. Oke, Oke, I sign and while thanking her, start to run to the other side of the hall to get to the check-in counters. Luckily I'm not even last! I ask the persons in front of my - a family of four, two parents and a boy and a girl in there teens - if they are flying to Rome... Yes, the boy is, the others are just bringing him. At least I might be able to catch this flight!

At the check-in counter, I put my bag on the belt a whole ten minutes after I got it and thought: "oh boy, here we go again"
But I did it, I had no choice.
At least I got the keys!

So now I'm traveling home, writing this story in my notebook, with the soaked bag in the hold. The flight to Rome is short, the next one a bit longer. I walk out at Schiphol wondering if.....

When I get there, the conveyor belt at the baggage claim is running already, and YES!

The bag is on it.


Monday 1 December 2008

LTW Readers Q&A | 16; Penalty acknowledgment

Today's Q&A was send in by Luigi:

We are in a Match Race. Yellow is ahead with an outstanding penalty at the windward mark on port, Blue is very close to Yellow on starboard.
At the windward mark Blue infringed a rule but went out of the zone, leaving the mark, ahead. The umpire signaled a Blue penalty with a Red flag. In the mean time Yellow sailed to the left side of the course (looking downwind) more or less abeam of the Ump rib. The Umps are looking at the Blue boat taking a penalty and they decide that Blue is still ahead after having taken her penalty. They give another Blue penalty with a Red flag.

During this time Yellow decided to clear her penalty and she did her turn but without any acknowledgment (whistle or flag) from the Umpires (the didn't see her take the penalty).

The Umpires give another (third) penalty, again Blue+Red to the Blue boat, because she's still ahead after having taken her second turn. After that Yellow is ahead of Blue and both run to the finishing line. Blue in a position one length astern of Yellow.

The Umps realize Yellow cleared her penalty at 4 to 5 boat lengths to the finishing line and they lower the Yellow flag (which was still on the pole) without any sound. Blue see Yellow cross the finishing line without clearing her penalty and, looking at the umpire rib, see there is no Yellow flag on the pole anymore.

Blue request redress by raising her Red Flag.

During the hearing Blue said she was waiting for the penalty of Yellow without interfering because Blue didn't need to do anything else for winning.

The delayed time for lowering the Yellow penalty flag on the umpire boat and the absence of any sound signal were instrumental in this tactic. If Blue had known there was no longer an outstanding penalty for Yellow, she wouldn't have waited until the finish to do something.

Blue is asking for a re-sail of the match. What is your decision?

On a personal note: I'm back home; safe and sound, but have a tale to tell about the conclusion of my Italian adventure, which I hope to post in a couple of days...


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