Monday 28 June 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (26) – 89;

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)


Case 89

Rule 43.1(a), Competitor Clothing and Equipment
A competitor may not wear or otherwise attach to his person a beverage container.
Does rule 43.1(a) permit a competitor to wear or otherwise attach to his person a beverage container while racing

No. Except on a sailboard, there is no necessity for such a practice, and therefore its primary purpose must be considered to be to increase the competitor’s weight. (Note that rule B2.1(b) modifies rule 43.1(a) for windsurfing competition.

ISAF 1997/1


I could easily imagine that there are several dinghy’s – specially with a one person crew – who’d love to have this rule eased for them. I must be difficult to stow something, in say, a laser…

Tillerman, how do you do that in yours?


Wednesday 23 June 2010

Kiel 4; Day five

After an eleven hour day on the water umpiring yesterday and a 6 hour day today (cut-off time was 15:00 hours) we have a new Kieler Woche World Cup Match Race champion! Ekaterina Skudina and her crew managed to beat Claire Leroy and her crew in the finals 2-1. Congratulations to her, indeed. Coming up from the repacharge to win the tournament, shows some fighting spirit. Never giving up, never loosing hart. A well deserved win! And well done Katerina!

We are going in to the international part of Kiel Week, with many (more) competitors. I'll be going out on the water for rule 42 and do some hearings in the room. And perhaps some arbitration. Something for which they have a unique system here.

I've been scribbling in my notebooks and will no doubt find a few cases to share from the match race course, but for the next couple of post I will concentrate on the Jury-work
The first on I am telling you about is unique indeed:

A team sailing in Kiel-week in a different class handed in a request for redress two day's after the start of match racing, claiming that a wrong team was invited to come and that actually they should have been given the opportunity to sail according to the rules regarding invitations. With some preliminary reading of the NoR it was soon discovered, that indeed there might have been a mistake and that a wrong team was asked to come.
The reason why the team handed in the request was of course the missed oppertunity to earn ranking points.

But to stop the tournament for that? Impossible!
Was the request even valid? The party was not a competitor and time limit! Has anybody checked the time limit? If we hear it what can we do? This Internation Jury has no jurisdiction over ISAF's ranking list. Only over this particular World Cup Event.
Questions, obstacles, and hurdles......

Monday 21 June 2010

Kiel 3 – Penalties; again?

After yesterdays learning experience we did discuss the issue some more. There were complications in format, boat and crew issues, interference and of course, hearings on the water. But on the instigation of my fellow umpires I’d better stick to the rules.

Sitting on the terrace of “ElMovenshiss” with two different music sources is a bit distracting, but if I concentrate hard enough I might be able to post a valid question.

Again about penalties. The rule book says you can only give a penalty – or a green flag for that matter – if there’s also a sound signal.

And also; The failure to display or not display a flag has no influence on the number of outstanding penalties. If you miss a boat taken a penalty, the fact that you did not take down the flag has no standing. The boat has a valid case if she can somehow show that she took the penalty. She might need to go to a hearing and ‘convince’ the judges, but if she does, the penalty is taken.

I do agree it’s confusing to the sailors if you first take a flag down and then, after deciding that it should be a red flag penalty, put the flag back up again (including the offset blue flag), but that does not mean it is a second penalty, in my opinion. Not if there’s no sound signal together with the flag.

In other words, if you forget your whistle, you’d better know how to do it some other way, otherwise you cannot give any penalties.

Putting up a flag alone is NOT sufficient.

What do you think?

(pillow)Case of the Week (25) - 90

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)


Rule 28.1, Sailing the Course

When a boat’s string passes a mark on the required side, she
does not break rule 28.1 if her string, when drawn taut, also
passes that mark on the non-required side.

Assumed Facts

The first leg of a race on the Panama River was to windward, in a weak and fluky wind and against a strong current. Boats A and B started correctly, but the wind died and they drifted backwards. A passed outside the port end of the line, and B crossed back over the line. Later, the wind returned but from a new direction, and both boats passed to starboard of the race committee boat at the starboard end of the line and continued up the leg.

A protested B for breaking the ‘string rule’ (rule 28.1) but the protest committee decided that the protest was invalid. However, it sent a request for interpretation of rule 28.1 to the national authority under rule 70.4.


Did boats A and B comply with rule 28.1?


Boat A complied with rule 28.1. After starting, she left each starting mark on its required side. Then she sailed around the entire starting line as shown. Even so, the string representing her track, when drawn taut, leaves each starting mark on the required side as it crosses the starting line. Rule 28.1 does not prohibit extra turns around a mark, provided that the string when drawn taut lies on the required side of each mark. For example, if a boat touches a rounding mark while leaving it on her starboard side as required by the sailing instructions, and then makes a clockwise penalty turn around it, she complies with rule 28.1. Another example, as boat A illustrates in this case, is when a boat’s string passes the two starting-line marks on the required side, she does not break rule 28.1 when her string also passes one of those marks (in this case the race committee boat) on the non-required side.

Boat B broke rule 28.1. After starting, she left the port-end mark to port and the starboard-end mark to starboard, as required. However, she later drifted back across the starting line and then left the starboard-end mark to port. When the string representing her track is drawn taught it will not pass through the starting line and therefore will not leave the starboard-end mark on the required side.

See Case 106 for a discussion of a similar incident at a finishing line.

FAY 1996/3

Kiel 2 - Penalties

In Match Racing the umpires give penalties to boats they think have broken a rule or rules. But even that can be very complicated, sometimes.

There’s first of all the decision that a right of way rule has been broken by a boat and if so, was she forced to do so, by something the other boat did. I.e. did the right of way boat break one of the general limitations (Rules 15 – 17) forcing the keep clear boat not to keep clear?

Then there are the questions: did the boat do it deliberately or did the control of the match change? And also, did the boat gain an advantage after allowing for a penalty? In other words is this a red flag penalty?

Normally you can first put up a colour and, when you discussed this some more, there is still time to put up the red flag, indicating that the penalty should be taken immediately.

But there is an exception (Of course there is, whenever is there not an exception?). When you already have an outstanding penalty and then decide to give the other boat a penalty, you must display the red flag immediately with that colour. Otherwise the colours would cancel each other out and there’s no possibility to use the red flag any more. The only thing you can do in this case, is delay the displaying of the colour, until you are sure there shouldn’t be a red with it.

But as with many things, you first have to get it wrong and make this mistake, before you figure out the correct way, you should have done this. A lesson learned – something you will not forget.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Kiel 1 – Re-sail?

Ok, a short one then.

All umpires have or will have a moment when their rubberboot is in a wrong place at a wrong time. Be it because of their own inadequacies or because a match race boat makes an unexpected manoeuvre, sometimes their will be contact. The rules state that in such a case their is no redress – sailors cannot ask for that, only umpires can initiate a hearing and the PC may then grant redress.

Nevertheless, sailors will let you know that you were in their way. Sometimes by hoisting a red flag. Most Jury will then investigate, actually the will have to.

We had such a case – a boat stopping contact approximately two minutes before the start. After considering all the facts we decided that it did not have significant influence on the outcome of the match and redress was denied.

In the debrief our chief umpire suggested the following policy. Has there been contact and was that followed by a red flag by one of the sailors, ask the RC for an restart.

A pragmatic solution – for sure, one not directly in the rules, but quick, no hassle and ultimately more productive.

We discussed it again at a late diner before returning to our night lodgings. I wonder what you make of this solution. Considering all the implications, do you agree and would you follow or do you disagree and stick to the strict rules?



Friday 18 June 2010

FTBD (31) & Kiel; Prestart 2

I was expecting empty roads travelling during the day trough Northern Germany. Their soccer team had to play against Croatia in the World Cup… But like me, there seem to be a lot of Germans not that into football. Not enough to take a day off from work. ‘Stau’ before Bremen, ‘stau’ after Bremen and road works before Kiel. Anyway, I arrived mid-afternoon and picked up my Sailing Instructions, sponserbag and clothing before the Jury-meeting at six.

World Cup Events now have a special set of sailing instructions, which supposedly – bar local differences in colour of marks – stay the same for all WC-events. They have been using them for four events now and still there is some fine-tuning in wording and specific instructions. But eventually we will get them right.
If you are interested you should be able to find them on the Kieler Woche Website.

It’s also Flog The Blog Day again – the 31st. Not that you have much to flog about, I’ve hardly been posting. But still, please go ahead – any comments, suggestions, critics, or remarks – feel free to write them. I might actually let them be published (EG).

I’ll be umpiring the first half of the week in the Woman Elliot 6 Match Racing. Again – like in Medemblik – 24 top teams competing. They could have had a lot more – 40 teams even, with separate courses and new format. Something the OA of Kiel week was willing to set up – but ISAF didn’t allow it. It still is a World Cup event.

The influence of ISAF will only increase next year – being a pre-Olympic year. More then half the Jury will be ISAF appointed, no doubt.

But lets get back to this year. 180 plus matches in five days = 45 plus flights with eight boats = 9 flights per day and no slack for weather-conditions. In other words – don’t be surprised if I don’t have time (or energy) to post every day. I’ll do my best….

Thursday 17 June 2010

Kiel; Prestart

I'm off to Kiel tomorrow, for ten days of Olympic Umpiring and International Sailing (Jury).

The Jury gets bigger and bigger every year. Last count was 30 members, including the 10 umpires for Match Racing in the Elliot 6 for Woman.
Because this is now part of the World Cup, only a select few are 'allowed' to be the chairperson or chief umpire at these events. ISAF at its smallest - in my opinion. A trend I do not think is a good idea. It will create a select few within the Judges and Umpires group, who will go to the top events.
I understand the reason why it is done, but would support a better education and training program by ISAF for all, in favor of this direction......
But enough about politics. Lets get back to the sailing.

I hope to post some calls from the umpiring I will do in Kiel and perhaps illustrate an interesting protest or two.
Watch This Space

Wednesday 16 June 2010

ISAF Q&A's Fast and Furious

The ISAF Q&A's have been coming fast and furious.
There's a new sheriff in town, so to speak. As I have understood the new chairman has instigated a policy that the Q&A-panel will no longer 'screen' questions for usefulness or worthiness? (is that a proper word?)
All questions will be answered!

The best way to keep track of them is to download the new booklet, where they all are now recoded with a letter and a sequence number.
Go to: QABookletJune92010-[8951].pdf

From the index: I've linked the latest so you can download them also individually:

A - Fair Sailing
A 1 Q&A 07-008 Slowing another boat’s progress in a race.
A 2 Q&A 09-023 A discussion about different aspects of a situation when a boat learns, in an invalid hearing, that she has broken a rule.

B - Boat vs Boat
B 1 Q&A 06-005 A collision between two catamarans on opposite tacks at a narrow gate.
B 2 Q&A 09-004 'Keeping Clear' in a windward /leeward situation.
B 3 Q&A 09-017 When Mark-Room includes room to tack.
B 4 Q&A 09-021 Rights and obligations at obstructions.
B 5 Q&A 09-022 How much room is mark-room?
B 6 Q&A 09-025 Questions about the windward mark and proper course.
B 7 Q&A 09-028 Obligations when a boat hails for room to tack.
B 8 Q&A 09-030 A clarification about rule 18.3.
B 9 Q&A 09-033 How early must a boat start taking action to avoid a collision?
B 10 Q&A 09-036 When does rule 18.3 stop applying?
B 11 Q&A 10-001 3 boats overlapped on port tack approaching an obstruction; a racing boat on starboard tack.
B 12 Q&A 10-009 Finishing mark and rules 18.2 and 18.5.
B 13 Q&A 10-011 Overlap changing from leeward to windward overlap.
B 14 Q&A 10-012 Rule 18.3 and ‘causing a boat to sail above close-hauled’.
B 15 Q&A 10-013 Rules 19 and 20 when multiple boats meet.
B 16 Q&A 10-017 Windward boat must always keep clear.
B 17 Q&A 10-020 Two boats tacking in the zone when another is fetching.

C - Starting
C 1 Q&A 07-004 A clarification about rule 30.1, I Flag Rule (Called Round-an-End Rule).
C 2 Q&A 09-027 When boats start in both directions – what should be done?

D - Sailing the Course
D 1 Q&A 09-008 'Side of a mark' for the purpose of rule 28.
D 2 Q&A 09-010 A boat forced to the wrong side of a mark still needs to sail correctly around that mark. She is not 'compelled' to break rule 28.
D 3 Q&A 09-014 A clarification of rule 28. A catamaran rounding a mark with one hull flying over the mark.
D 4 Q&A 09-034 When one Gate Mark is missing.
D 5 Q&A 10-004 About touching marks and the definitions Finish and Racing.

E - Finishing
E 1 Q&A 06-002 When has a boat 'cleared' the finishing line and marks?
E 2 Q&A 06-003 Race committee action when a boat passes the pin end of the finishing line on the wrong side or touches a finishing mark.
E 3 Q&A 07-003 A clarification of fetching at the finishing mark.
E 4 Q&A 08-002 ’Normal position’ - finishing as a capsized boat.
E 5 Q&A 09-005 Relating to ISAF Case 45 - a case about a sailing instruction that required boats to finish contrary to the definition 'Finish'.
E 6 Q&A 09-016 About shortening of course, finishing when the race committee is positioned at the 'wrong' end of the line.
E 7 Q&A 09-026 When does a boat finish – when is the line a finishing line.
E 8 Q&A 09-035 About Case 112 and Q&A 2009-26.

F – Scoring
F 1 Q&A 01-001 A question relating to the time limit of races.
F 2 Q&A 03-002 Scoring boats OCS after the race based on observations by or statements from competitors or other persons outside the race committee.
F 3 Q&A 03-004 Abandoning a race after some of the boats have finished.
F 4 Q&A 07-001 Awarding of average points in multiple races.
F 5 Q&A 08-001 A clarification about numbering of races.
F 6 Q&A 08-003 A discussion about whether a boat that has retired can un-retire.
F 7 Q&A 09-002 A clarification of ‘number of boats entered in a series’ for the purpose of scoring under Appendix A.
F 8 Q&A 09-006 A clarification of rule 90.3(a): A race cannot be scored when no boats have sailed the course in compliance with rule 28 and finished.
F 9 Q&A 09-013 Scoring series with multiple rankings.
F 10 Q&A 09-031 How may scoring mistakes be corrected after a regatta?
F 11 Q&A 10-023 Resolving ties in series score when redress is involved.

G – Race Management Practices and Policies
G 1 Q&A 09-009 Special sailing instruction to allow shortening races for safety reasons even after some boats have crossed the finishing line.
G 2 Q&A 09-012 When the race committee observes a boat touching a mark.
G 3 Q&A 10-010 Posting OCS lists at the windward mark.
G 4 Q&A 09-015 About abandonment in match racing. Where to draw the line for what would be an improper action by the race committee.
G 5 Q&A 10-015 Changing the meaning of the Race Signals in the sailing instructions.
G 6 Q&A 10-016 When sailing clubs mix responsibilities for club regattas.
G 7 Q&A 10-018 Race committee procedures for sighting the starting line.
G 8 Q&A 10-021 When using VHF to recall boats.

H – International Jury
H 1 Q&A 02-001 Rule N1.1 and International Jury members on signal- and finishing boats.
H 2 Q&A 03-001 A question relating to International Juries and when they are properly constituted.
H 3 Q&A 09-041 A clarification about submitting questions about Jury decisions.

J – Protests, Hearings, Appeals & Procedures
J 1 Q&A 04-008 Signalling a yellow flag penalty after a general recall.
J 2 Q&A 07-006 Notifying boats of a protest by informing the coach, rules advisor or other representative.
J 3 Q&A 09-011 The weighing and credibility of evidence in protest hearings.
J 4 Q&A 09-039 When a protest committee protests a boat under rule 60.3(a)(2).
J 5 Q&A 09-040 About denial of appeal and national prescriptions.
J 6 Q&A 10-003 Compelled to break a rule by an unidentified boat breaking a rule.
J 7 Q&A 10-005 Conditions for a protest committee to reinstate an abandoned race.
J 8 Q&A 10-006 Protest time limit when the race time limit runs out.
J 9 Q&A 10-008 Redress when boats get entangled with marks.

K – Match Race
K 1 Q&A 09-015 About abandonment in match racing. Where to draw the line for what would be an improper action by the race committee.

L – Technical
L 1 Q&A 03-007 A question about the legality of disconnecting the headstay while racing.
L 2 Q&A 08-004 A question about the use of the Yngling gybing line.
L 3 Q&A 09-001 A question about boat wax/polish and rule 53.
L 4 Q&A 09-007 A question about hiking devices and rule 49.1.
L 4 Q&A 09-029 A question about rule 53, textured surfaces and wet sanding.
L 6 Q&A 09-037 Questions about rule 42 when rules 49 to 54 do not apply.
L 7 Q&A 09-038 Using a lead trapeze harness strap buckle (that is a dive weight) and rule 43.1(a).
L 8 Q&A 10-002 Life line material and the Racing Rules of Sailing.

M – Terminology
M 1 Q&A 04-006 When is a boat on a beat to windward?
M 2 Q&A 09-003 Questions about the term ‘Starting Area’.
M 3 Q&A 09-018 Is a finishing line a ’gate’?
M 4 Q&A 09-019 Questions about the new definition Fetching.
M 5 Q&A 09-032 When is a boat ‘sailing on another leg’?
M 6 Q&A 10-019 Changing course and rule 16.
M 7 Q&A 10-022 When touching only the flag on a mark.

N – Prescriptions and other rules
N 1 Q&A 10-007 National prescriptions not complying with rule 86.1(a).
N 2 Q&A 10-014 Approval for appointment of protest committees.

Deleted Q&As

This means that some of the questions may seem a bit simple. But as a policy I agree with answering all questions - the more answers the more consistent we will be to the sailors.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Blogger troubles

Due to a glitch in software I've been unable to post for some time. Hopefully normal posting will resume from now on. I've uploaded the missing (pillow)Cases for a start.

Then there's this strange incident from last weekend (Mayday Match):
Blue - trailing boat - misjudges her turn and hits the mark. She bears of and while getting control of her boat sailes a couple of lengths downwind. (It was blowing force 5 during this match) She gybes, luffs and returns to the mark to round it properly.
Here's the diagram:

My question to you: has Blue taken her penalty?
Please give me your opinion with a reason why.

(pillow)Case of the week (23) - 92

(This is an installment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)



Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 16.2, Changing Course

When a right-of-way boat changes course, the keep-clear boat is required to act only in response to what the right-of-way boat is doing at the time, not what the right-of-way boat might do subsequently.

Summary of the Facts

On a windward leg in winds of 18 knots, S and P approached each other on opposite tacks. P bore off to avoid S. S also bore off, and P continued bearing off in order to pass astern of S. S also continued to bear off, heeling further to leeward as a result. There was contact between the masts and rigging of the two boats and P’s mast was broken.

The protest committee disqualified S for breaking rule 16 and she appealed.


S’s appeal is dismissed. The protest committee’s decision to disqualify her is upheld, under rules 14, 16.1 and 16.2.

Initially the boats were on collision courses. P bore away to keep clear of S as required by rule 10. The written facts and the diagram established that P would have kept clear of S by passing astern of her if S had not changed her course. However, S bore away, causing P to immediately bear away still further to be able to continue keeping clear.

By changing course as she did, S broke rule 16.2. S continued changing course, at an increasing rate of turn. At some time before the collision, nothing that P could have done in a seamanlike way would have made it possible for her to keep clear. Therefore, by continuing to change course S also broke rule 16.1. In addition, S broke rule 14 and must be penalized under that rule because, as the right-of-way boat, she failed to avoid contact that caused damage.

S argued that P could have tacked or gybed, and claimed that this was P’s obligation. This is a misunderstanding of the obligations of a keep-clear boat under rule 10 and other right-of-way rules. A keep-clear boat is required to act only in response to what a right-of-way boat is doing at the time, not what the right-of-way boat might do subsequently. Until she was unable to do so, P did as she was required, keeping clear by changing course in such a way that S, had she not continued to bear away towards P, would have had ‘no need to take avoiding action’ (see the definition Keep Clear).

In failing to keep clear, P broke rule 10, but that was a consequence of S’s breaches of rules 16.1 and 16.2. Therefore P is exonerated under rule 64.1(c).

USSA 1997/75


This one is also in the Match Race Call Book under UMP 14.

Monday 14 June 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (24) - 91

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)



Rule 12, On the Same Tack, Not Overlapped
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact

Definitions, Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap
Definitions, Keep Clear

A boat required to keep clear must keep clear of another boat’s equipment out of its normal position when the equipment has been out of its normal position long enough for the equipment to have been seen and avoided.

Summary of the Facts
Boats A and B were reaching on port tack and approaching a leeward mark to be left to port. B was clear astern of A. A’s spinnaker had been flying out of control from the top of her mast for the entire leg. Both
boats tacked around the mark. After both had tacked, B sailed a short distance close-hauled. She then bore away, and her rigging made contact with A’s spinnaker, which was still flying from the top of A’s mast. A protested. The protest committee disqualified B for breaking rule 12 when her rigging made contact with A’s spinnaker. B appealed.


The contact was caused by B bearing away. At the time of contact, A’s spinnaker was not in its normal position, and B’s bow was astern of A’s hull and all of her equipment that was in normal position. Therefore,
there was no overlap (see the definition Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap), and rule 12 applied. It required B to keep clear of A’s hull, equipment and crew, including her spinnaker. B broke rule 12 by failing to keep clear, because by sailing towards A’s spinnaker she created a need for A to take avoiding action (see the definition Keep Clear). B’s crew had been able to see A’s spinnaker streaming from the top of her mast for quite some time before the contact, so B’s failure to keep clear could not be blamed on the fact that
A’s spinnaker was not in its normal position.

Case 77 addresses an incident that appears to be similar but is significantly different. There, B passed the mark close astern of A with no knowledge that A would lose control of her spinnaker. B could not have been expected to foresee that A’s spinnaker would suddenly trail astern by 20 feet (6 m). In this case, B also broke rule 14 by causing contact she could have avoided. However, A did not break that rule because it was not reasonably possible for her to avoid the contact. Even if it had been possible, as a right-of-way boat she could not be penalized because there was no damage or injury (see rule 14(b)).
B was properly disqualified for breaking rule 12. She also broke rule 14. Her appeal is dismissed.

USSA 1987/271
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