Tuesday 31 January 2012

LTW Readers Q&A (59): ORC and stamped sails

Manuel from Portugal has the following questions:
(I've edited some of his text for clarity)

I was asked to say my opinion about the following issues:
Type of regatta: ORC cruisers racing (club regatta) around an island.
1st question: Is the direction of rounding the island free, if nothing is stated in Sailing Instructions?
The SI only describe the starting line, the finishing line and the words “rounding the island”.

My answer was YES (RRS 28.1)

2nd question. After finishing (the ORC event only had one regatta) a boat presented a measurement protest against another boat referring to the main sail as being not measured (the sail did not have the normal stamp/signature of any measurer person). Before the regatta the boats were not supervised by any Measuring Committee. The Protest Committee accepted the protest (no red flag was displayed on board of the boat) and confirmed the non existent stamp/signature.
The protested boat confirmed the measurer forgot to indicate on the sail any reference to proof that the sail was really measured. There are serious doubts if the sail was measured by anyone. The protested boat says that the protested sail has a smaller area than the sail expressed in the boat certificate.

To answer I looked at:
ORC Rating System 2010
304 Owner’s Responsibility
304.1 The owner or his representative shall be responsible for:
  • a) Preparing the boat for the measurement in accordance with the IMS
  • b) Declaring any required data to the measurer
  • c) Ensuring compliance of any measurement data to those printed on certificate. Measurement shall be deemed to comply with the one printed on the certificate if all the measurements are smaller or equal to those on the certificate, except MSW, that shall be bigger or equal. Sails shall be deemed to comply if the sail area is smaller or equal to the respective one printed on the certificate.
  • d) Using the boat and equipment as prescribed by the RRS, IMS Rules and ORC Rating systems.
The owner or his representative shall sign the statement on the certificate: “I certify that I understand my responsibilities under ORC Rules and Regulations”.
And also at:
305 Measurement Protests
305.1 When, as a result of any pre-race inspection or measurement, it is determined that a boat does not comply with her certificate:
  • a) When the non-compliance is considered to be minor and can be easily corrected, the boat may be brought into compliance with her certificate, and, when necessary, a new certificate may be issued. The Measurer shall inform of such correction to the Race Committee who shall approve a new certificate issue.
  • b) When the non-compliance is major (even if it can be corrected) or if it cannot be corrected without requiring significant re-measurement, a boat shall not be eligible to enter a regatta. The Measurer shall inform the Race Committee who shall act in accordance with RRS and inform the Rating authority.
RRS 2 and 3 may also apply
My answer was to suggest the following decision: The protested boat must be DSQ under ORC Rating System 2010 (rule 305.1b). The red flag was not necessary in that case .

Can you comment?

I wrote back to Manuel asking him if I could get some help from my readers, since my experience with ORC is very limited. I would appreciate any and all comments - specially on the second question.

Here are my thoughts:

If there's no direction stated in the SI and the description of the starting line or the finishing line do not give any indication about which side is the course side, I think that the Race Committee has a big problem. There will be boats starting on both sides of the line. I wouldn't know how to solve the problems between the rules in section A, B, C and D. Is a boat returning to start? Is a boat OCS?
Any boat who got into trouble over this and could show it considerably effected her score, would have a good chance to get redress.

If there was an indication in the description of the starting line about which side was pre-start and which was course side, but that line was laid out so, that it did not give any indication about in which direction the island should be rounded, then I agree with your answer.

The second answer is harder. 305.1 states ..., as a result of any pre-race inspection or measurement, .....
This protest was AFTER the race, and - if you don't assume the "pre-race" should also be applied to measurement in this sentence - the sail was never actually measured at the event. Therefore I'm not sure you can use it to decide a protest after the race, without getting a measurer to actually measure the sail.

If you do get a measurer to come to the event and have a look at the sail, then you can use 304.1(c) to decide if the boat should be DSQed or not.

Does the OCR Rating System have a rule stating that a sail must have a stamp or signature? Or is it in the Portuguese RRS? In the Netherlands this done by a MNA prescription. Is that also done in Portugal?
If it is, then the protest is about rule 78.1. And rule 61.1 should be on the table and validity is an issue.

When did the protesting boat became aware of the lack of stamp/signature?
Did he see this on the water? If so, then a Red flag is necessary to make it a valid protest.
If he saw this after racing on shore, what did she do to inform the other boat?

Provided the protest was valid, then any DSQ should be for failing to comply with rule 78.1.

I've also had a look at the latest ORC Rating System 2012 and found this:
305.2 When, as a result of any measurement protest by a boat or by the race committee, it is determined that a boat does not comply with her certificate, the non-compliance shall be calculated as a difference in percentage of GPH:
a) If the difference is less than or equal to 0.1%, the original certificate will be maintained, the protest will be dismissed and the protestor will have to cover any cost involved. RRS 64.3(a)  will apply but no corrections are needed.
b) If the difference is more than 0.1% but less than 0.25%, no penalty shall apply, but a new certificate shall be issued based on the new measurement data and all races of the series shall be rescored using the new certificate data. The Protest will be considered accepted and the protestee will have to cover any cost involved.
c) If the difference is 0.25% or more, a boat shall receive a 50% place penalty in any race in which her rating was incorrect. The Protest will be considered accepted and the protestee will have to cover any cost involved and the yacht shall not race again until all non-compliance issues are corrected to the limit defined in a) above.
Was 305.2 in the 2010 ORC Rating System? Problem solved.

Anybody else?

Monday 30 January 2012

(pillow)Case of the week (05/12) – 25

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Case book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2011. All cases are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The cases are copied from the Casebook, only the comments are written by me.)

(pillow)Case picture


Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room

When an inside overlapped windward boat that is entitled to mark-room sails below her proper course while at the mark, she must keep clear of the outside leeward boat, and the outside boat may luff provided that she gives the inside boat room to keep clear.

Summary of the Facts
Two 15-foot (3.5 m) dinghies, IW and OL, were approaching a leeward port-hand mark. IW established an inside overlap on OL well before the boats reached the zone, and OL gave IW space to sail to the mark and then to sail her proper course while at the mark. After IW passed the mark, OL began to luff to her course to the next mark. IW was slower in heading up, and her boom, still well out, touched OL’s helmsman and shrouds. At the time of the contact IW was a hull length from the mark and over 45 degrees below close-hauled. No damage or injury occurred. IW protested OL under rule 18.2(b), and OL protested IW under rule 11.


The protest committee decided that, because IW did not luff to a close hauled course while she was at the mark, she did not sail her proper course during that time. IW did not deny this but attributed it to her boom-end mainsheet rig as compared to the centre-lead rig used by OL.

The protest committee dismissed IW’s protest, upheld OL’s, and disqualified IW for breaking rule 11. IW appealed.


Rule 18.2(b) required OL to give IW room to sail to the mark and then room to sail her proper course while at the mark. Clearly, between positions 1 and 2 OL gave IW room to sail to the mark. At position 2, IW was ‘at the mark’ and between positions 2 and 3 she was entitled to room to sail her proper course. Her proper course during that time was to luff onto a close-hauled course, and OL gave her room to do so. Therefore, OL did not break rule 18.2(b).

When OL luffed between positions 2 and 3, IW was required by rule 11 to keep clear of OL, and OL was required by rule 16.1 to give her room to do so. OL luffed approximately 30 degrees while moving forward two hull lengths. Even with a boom-end mainsheet rig, a boat sailed in a seamanlike way can turn through 30 degrees and trim her mainsail appropriately while moving forward two hull lengths. Therefore, OL gave IW room to keep clear and OL did not break rule 16.1.

OL could easily have avoided contact with IW, and so OL broke rule 14. However, she is not penalized for doing so because neither boat was damaged, nor was there any injury. IW sailed well below her proper course; in fact she sailed a hull length away from the mark on a course over 45 degrees below close-hauled and, as a result, took much more space than rule 18.2(b) entitled her to take.

Throughout the incident IW was required by rule 11 to keep clear of OL.
Shortly before the contact, IW broke rule 11 by failing to keep clear. It was possible for IW to have avoided the contact, and therefore IW also broke rule 14. However, because IW was entitled to mark-room and the contact resulted in neither damage nor injury, she too can not be penalized for breaking rule 14.

W’s appeal is dismissed. The protest committee’s decision to disqualify
IW under rule 11 is upheld.


Noteworthy: IW was not penalized for taking “too much mark-room”, she was penalized for failing to keep-clear under 11. If she had been failing to keep clear within the space mark-room provided, she would have been exonerated for that. She failed to keep clear outside the room that mark-room provides and therefore was NOT exonerated.

Although the exoneration under 18.5 depends on the boat’s actions, the ‘exoneration’ under rule 14 does not. All boats – r.o.w, with room or with mark-room – regardless of there actions, get a freebie if there’s no damage or injury.

In this rulebook the wording is still ‘a boat will not be penalized’, but in the next rulebook (2013-2016) it will be brought in line with the other rules and ‘a boat will be exonerated’ for breaking rule 14 if there’s no damage or injury.

Sunday 29 January 2012

Score 20/01 in LTW 2012 Winter Challenge

Episode 20/01 has been scored:

The entries are getting very good already.

Several of the challengers have not send in a entry. Please don't quit so soon. I'm sure you can learn a lot by participating. I've asked for nicknames so you can remain anonymous.

This is what I came up with:

  • Blue on Port tack is keeping clear under rule 10, by passing in front of Orange on Starboard tack.
  • Blue continues to keep clear, first under 13 and then under rule 11 until position 4.
  • Blue is subject to rule 18.3, because she was subject to rule 13 in the zone and Orange is fetching the mark. Boats are overlapped as soon as Blue passes head to wind with Orange as inside boat and entitled to mark-room under rule 18.3(b). Rule 18.2 does not apply. Orange's luff above close hauled was to fetch the mark, not to avoid Blue, therefore Blue did not infringe 18.3. It was also a proper course for Orange therefore any 16.1 infringements are exonerated under rule 18.5
  • Orange is right-of-way boat under rule 11, Blue is not keeping clear in position 5
  • Blue could have avoided the contact, therefore breaks rule 14
  • Orange could not avoid the contact, after it became clear that Blue would not keep clear, so does not break rule 14
Protest upheld
DSQ Blue

A final question to think over:
What would change if Orange had passed head to wind, just after position 4?

Friday 27 January 2012

LTW 2012 Winter Challenge 27/01: Rolex Miami OCR 49er Crash

Right, this episode of the LTW 2012 Winter Challenge,  I'm using a You-Tube video of an incident in a 49er race at the Rolex Miami OCR.

I've checked and although there's is a protest on the board with AUT 070, I do not think it was this incident. BER 1042 is not mentioned and although the black spinnaker is an USA boat, I don't think it's 1222.
Anyway that protest was denied.

found on You Tube: HERE by asht2p

The film is short and taken from an aerial view (probably a helicopter) so you will need to see it several times.
The challenge is to write down the facts found, draw a conclusion and take a decision.
Don't get stuck in validity; assume all requirements have been fulfilled.

I also don't mind if different people have different set of facts found. The challenge is to write the facts as you see them and then draw consistent conclusions and decision. There was contact, so don't forget 14!

If you make a TSS or Boat Scenario file, send me a (one!) picture and I'll try to incorporate that into the posting. Since you can "make up" your own facts this time, there will be no questions. But the challengers who send me a picture of the situation, corresponding with their facts found, can earn two bonus points!

Deadline next Friday 03/02/12 23:59 (GMT+1) as per usual.

Scoring of Episode 20/01 to follow - probably Sunday.
Good luck,

Thursday 26 January 2012

NoR Dutch Championship Matchracing 2012

Team Heiner has found a sponsor, fixed a date and published the Notice of Race!
(Click on hier on Team Heiner webpage)

On the 20th, 21st and 22nd of April 2012 in Lelystad the
will be held.

We are doing the qualifying events during this winter season (weather permitting) for 6 teams, but the OA has also 2 wildcards to give out.  In total 8 teams will sail to win the honors.

From the NoR: 
Skippers will only be invited from the open entry list. If you wish to be invited please register your request for an invitation as soon as possible with the OA by completing the attached form.
If you are a team that might be interested, please consider coming to the very very low p(h)art (Lelystad is a new town in the reclaimed part (polder)) of the Netherlands.
Or if you know of such a Match Race team; please tel them about this - or better - forward this post.
There's a mailing button below.

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

ISAF Q&A 2011 - 027 M014: Eats, shoots and leaves

This Q&A reminded me of the Book of the Year 2004:
Eats, Shoots & Leaves -  The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
by Lynne Truss.

From the back cover:

Maybe the title of this Q&A should be: Mark to round; to pass or to leave?

ISAF Q&A 2011 - 027 M014

Question 4
What are the fundaments of the difference between rules 18.5 (a) and 18.5 (b) with regard to rules 15 and 16?

Answer 4
When a boat entitled to mark-room is sailing to the mark, she must comply with rules 15 and 16. However, sometimes complying with these rules means that the boat entitled to mark-room will not be able to actually round the mark. This is why rule 18.5(b), contrary to rule 18.5(a), provides for exoneration for a boat entitled to mark-room that breaks either of those rules while rounding the mark on her proper course.

I thought the best way to illustrate this was by a couple of examples:
Example 1: rule 16

Two boats, Red and Green approach a windward mark to left to port. Red is inside boat, entitled to mark-room, has trouble getting to the mark. She luffs hard when she is at the mark and there's contact between the boats. Red is right-of-way boat, Green is keeping clear, and if Red wouldn't have changed course so rapidly, there would not have been contact. Green left enough room for a 'normal' luff.
Red breaks rule 16.1 by not giving enough room to Green to keep clear. Nevertheless she is exonerated under rule 18.5(b) because she was AT the mark when doing so. Had she done the same, just after position 1, she would not have been exonerated.

Example 2: rule 15

There are big waves on the course. Two boats, Blue and Purple sail toward the leeward mark to be left to starboard. Entering the 3BL zone Blue is clear ahead and gets mark-room.
While sailing toward the mark Purple becomes right-of-way boat under rule 11. Blue is not changing course but gybes between positions 2 and three. Blue becomes right-of-way starboard tack boat. Normally she would be penalized for breaking rule 15, because she does not initially give room to Purple to keep clear. But because she's AT the mark, she gets exoneration under 18.5(b). Had she done the same between position 1 and 2 she would have not been exonerated.

Ooh, before I sign off, if you ever have to change to pick up a copy of Lynne's book, please do. It will change your world forever.
And the panda will be grateful.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

LTW Readers Q&A (58) - Red Flag

From the other side of the Atlantic, An US Sailing Appeal case submitted by Hugh.

Just heard a protest, which we found invalid, on grounds of inadequate flag:
Melges 24 - flag was 25 cm x 30 cm - housed in an Opti style pocket and suspended by a single corner. Displayed from the slack stern lifeline (i.e. below deck level).
I saw it at the finish line and it looked like an upside down tulip - not a flag.

It would be nice if you were to address the question of flags - specifically Case 72. In addition US SAILING Appeal 66 is useful and instructive. If you do not have access to US SAILING Appeals, here is the text:

Rule 61.1(a), Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee
Rule 63.5, Hearings: Validity of the Protest or Request for Redress

A 2" by 8" protest flag on a 40-foot boat is not of sufficient size or of suitable proportions to be “conspicuously displayed.”
Facts and Decision of the Protest Committee
Near the windward mark, Leading Lady and Aliens Ate My Buick, two 40-foot boats, were involved in an incident. Leading Lady immediately hailed “Protest” and displayed a 2" by 8" * strip of red cloth from her backstay. The protest committee concluded that the strip of red cloth was inadequate to qualify as a flag on a 40-foot boat, and therefore found the protest to be invalid and closed the hearing. Leading Lady appealed.
(* For those of you in the metric system: 5x20 cm)

Decision of the Appeals Committee
The strip of red cloth qualified as a protest flag in the context of rule 61.1(a) because it was a red flag. However, rule 61.1(a) also requires a boat to “conspicuously display” the protest flag. This requirement is necessary to inform other boats in the race, as well as the boat to be protested, that a boat intends to protest.

The phrase “conspicuously display” must be interpreted in the context of the size of the boat displaying the flag. An object that is conspicuous is not merely visible; it “catches one’s eye or attention” or is “obvious to the eye or mind” (dictionary references).
Whether the flag is displayed conspicuously depends on a number of considerations, such as the place on the boat from which the flag is displayed, its proximity to other objects of the same or a similar color and, the size of the flag in relation to the size of the boat. On a 40-foot boat a 2" by 8" flag is too small to be conspicuous. In this case, the flag’s proportions also detracted from the conspicuousness of its display.

Since the requirement of rule 61.1(a) that the flag be conspicuously displayed was not met, the protest committee, acting under rule 63.5, should have found that the protest was invalid for that reason, and closed the hearing. The protest committee’s reason for finding the protest invalid is incorrect.

Leading Lady’s appeal is denied, and the decision of the protest committee is corrected as described above.

US Sailing Appeals Book App.66; December 1994

Relevant in this case is also Case 72 from the Casebook: (pillow)Case of the Week 41 - 72.


Chairman: "What did you do after the incident?"
Representative of boat A: "I yelled protest and put up the red flag"

Chairman: "Did you hear his hail and saw the red flag?"
Representative of boat B: "No I didn't, he never hailed and I did not see any red flag"

C: "Where were the boats relative to eachother, when you hailed, and where did you put up the flag?"
RA: "The boats were about 25 meters apart and he was upwind. Perhaps he didn't hear me. I put the red flag on my leeward shroud. We have a tube there, I only have to pull it out"

C: "Let me get this clear; You were sailing on starboard tack and you put the flag on the port shroud?"
RA: "Yes.

C: "Was the sail covering the flag?"
RA: "Well, eeeeh, yes, at first, but then we gybed and it was clearly visible"

Chairman looks at his fellow panel members and the says to the sailors:
"Can I please ask you to leave to room for a minute, while we discuss this?"

Give me your votes, please.

Monday 23 January 2012

(pillow)Case of the week (04/12) – 26

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

(pillow)Case picture


Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 18.1, Mark-Room: When Rule 18 Applies

A right-of-way boat need not act to avoid a collision until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear. However, if the right-of-way boat could then have avoided the collision and the collision resulted in damage, she must be penalized under rule 14.

Summary of the Facts

A Soling, S, and a 505, P, in separate races, approached the same mark on opposite tacks. Unknown to P, which was lowering her spinnaker and hardening up to leave the mark to port, S was required to leave it to starboard and was preparing to do so.


P heard no hail and was unaware of S’s presence until the boats were in the positions shown in the diagram, at which time P’s crew saw S. He shouted a warning and leaped out of the way just as S’s bow struck P’s hull behind the mast, causing damage.

P protested S under rule 14 on the grounds that S could have avoided the collision. S and two witnesses testified that S did not at any time change her course before the collision. S, protesting under rule 10, claimed that if she had changed course she would have broken rule 16.1. The protest committee disqualified P under rules 10 and 14. P appealed.


P, as the keep-clear boat, failed to keep a lookout and to observe her primary duties to keep clear and avoid contact. She broke both rule 10 and rule 14. An important purpose of the rules of Part 2 is to avoid contact between boats. All boats, whether or not holding right of way, should keep a lookout at all times.

Rule 18 did not apply because S and P were not required to leave the mark on the same side (see rule 18.1). When it became clear that P was not keeping clear, S was required by rule 14 to act to avoid contact with P (see rule 14(a)). Before the positions shown in the diagram it became clear that the boats were on converging courses and that P was not keeping clear. At that time S could have luffed and avoided contact with P. Such a change of course by S would have given P more room to keep clear and would not have broken rule 16.1. The contact caused damage. Therefore, S broke rule 14 and must be penalized for having done so (see rule 14(b)).

P was correctly disqualified under rules 10 and 14. S is also disqualified, for breaking rule 14.

RYA 1971/4


Firstly, this has been in the callbooks since 1974, more than 35 years. The basic premise – avoiding contact – has been well established in the racing world. We as PC members have sometimes a little skewed image of this, because we tend to interact in the ‘room’ with boats (and sailors) when they do not follow this.

Secondly, what kind of &(^$%^^& Race Committee would allow a regatta with a mark that allows Port and Starboard roundings at the same time? That is asking for trouble.

It does however neatly illustrates the point that all boats approaching a mark have the tendency to focus exclusively on that rounding – forgetting all other issues. That kind of focus might be needed to do all the necessary tasks, but does not relieve a boat of keeping an adequate look-out.

Finally, rule 14 has a yes/no clause if it comes to penalizing the right-of-way boat (or the one entitled to room or mark-room). This yes/no clause is triggered by if there’s damage or not.
No damage = no penalty and Yes damage = yes penalty.
Many sailors confuse this damage in rule 14 with the damage in rule 44.1. However, for rule 14 the damage does not have to be ‘serious’, as it does in rule 44.1.

Any scratch, nicked paint, dent or whatever, that a prudent owner would repair immediately or in the near future, can be damage. If it is so little that it only gets repaired in the next scheduled winter overhaul or paintjob, then – in my opinion – it is not damage triggering rule 14.

Ooh, to be complete, the yes/no clause is also triggered by injury! ANY injury, even if it only needs a band-aid to be able to sail on.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Score 13/01 in LTW 2012 Winter Challenge

The score for the first episode:

And - as promised - my answer.

  • (Blue complies with rule 10 by keeping clear as Port tack boat from Green as Starboard tack boat; Greens luff does not break 16.2 as Blue does not have to immediately change course to keep clear)
  • (Green is keeping clear as tacking boat under rule 13, and then under 11 as windward boat; Blue does not have to give Green room under rule 15 as long as she maintains a straight course, because it was Green’s actions (her tack) that gave her right-of-way)
  • (In position 3 Blue establishes a leeward overlap while Green as windward boat is still required to keep clear under rule 13, therefore rule 17 is not turned on)
  • When Blue, as right-of-way boat, changed course between positions 3 & 4, she did not give Green enough room to keep clear, and broke rule 16.1.
  • Green broke rule 11 by not keeping clear as windward boat from Blue, but was compelled to break this rule because of Blue change of course and subsequent infringement of rule 16.1 and is therefore exonerated under rule 64.1(c).
  • Green did not break rule 14, because she was entitled to room from Blue (changing course) and by the time it was clear that Blue would not give that room, Green could not reasonably avoid the contact anymore.
  • Blue could reasonably have avoided the contact even after it became clear that Green was not going to keep clear and broke rule 14. There was damage so as right-of-way boat she can be penalized. However Blue took the applicable penalty (rule 44.1(a)) and therefore rule 64.1(a) does not apply. Blue is exonerated under rule 64.1(b).
Both protests are dismissed


Saturday 21 January 2012

ITO for 2012 Olympic Games

On the ISAF website the names of the International Technical Delegates (TD, Measurers, Race Officers, Jury and Umpires) for the 2012 Olympic Games were published. : 2012 London Olympic Games Sailing Competition













The Jury is reduced from 26 in 2008 to 23 in 2012, but than there are now 10 umpires for the match racing added, bringing the total to 33 from 29 different nations.

Of those 26 jury members in 2008, 17 people return either as jury member or as an umpire. That leaves 12 ‘new’ persons on the jury and 4 ‘new’ in the umpire team.

I can’t tell you the ‘old-new’ statistics for Measurers or RO’s, because I didn’t save that particular record four years ago. There will be 9 Measurers and 17 people in the Race Management Team for the 2012 OG. And 2 Technical Delegates.

These were chosen out of a group of 99 persons, who were either at the WPIR (Test Event) or in Perth at the Worlds. (+ 2 who were at neither)

During the last Olympic I did some interviews with newcomers. I will try to get in touch with a few again, this time.

In the mean time, good luck to all.


German Consequences (3); LTW Guest Post

By Thorsten Döbbeler


In the current version of the case book, updated November 13, 2011, there is no case 78. Currently, case 78 reads:

"CASE 78
As a result of action taken by the ISAF Council on 12 November 2011, Case 78 has been withdrawn for revision."

The story behind that is that the Irish Sailing Association filed a submission to the ISAF annual meeting to change case 78.

Submission 259-11: http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/25911RRSNewCase78-%5B11191%5D.pdf

You will notice that the wording of this submission is almost the wording of the new Q&A. The submission was accepted, but instead of directly replacing case 78, it was made a Q&A, while case 78 was "suspended".

The new Q&A A001 is replacing the old Q&A A001. Q&A Booklet:

So, no case was amended or changed.
Case 78, which was binding, was replaced by a Q&A, which is a recommendation.
Still, we have a change of direction in my opinion.



The situation we had before the annual meeting was that we had case 78, referring to a "series" and we had the old Q&A A01 that clarified on the term "series".

The old Q&A states:

"... For the purpose of ISAF Case 78, a race or series is restricted to those races governed by a notice  of race as published by the organizing authority for the race under consideration. ..."

Last version of the Q&A booklet before the change: http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/QAbookletNovember52010-%5B9631%5D.pdf

In my opinion case 78 and the old Q&A A01 meant that if you started "match racing" for your Olympic selection, could run you into problems easily.



The situation we now have, is we only have the new Q&A A01, which goes in the other direction. This means we had not exactly a rules change, but a change of direction in which to go.

The German Sailing Federation (DSV) and the Olympic Sailing Council (OSA) agree that GER 21 did win the Olympic trials according to the RRS and according to the regulations of the German Olympic trials. Those regulations were written well in advance of the three events that counted for German Olympic trials (Sail for Gold in Weymouth, Kiel Week and Olympic Worlds in Perth) and it was agreed that those regulations were fair and transparent towards all competitors.
Those regulations did not prohibit "match racing" as in Q&A A01. Hence, GER 21 is recommended to the German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB) to be sent to London. RRS and regulations for the German Olympic trials are clear on this.

On the perception in the German sailing community: While the German newspaper that is quoted is a serious newspaper, the story they printed did not precisely reflect the way the German sailing community perceived what happened. The story he printed seems somewhat one sided. If you understand German, you might find the articles and comments on segelreporter.com interesting. Some 5 or 6 articles with tons of comments on that topic. To summarize in short, most people recognize that GER 21 acted according to the RRS.


However, the German sailing community does not seem to agree on the moral aspect. Some think that from a moral point of view, GER 21 should not be allowed to go to London. Others think that everything that is allowed under the RRS should be morally ok as well.

Both points of view were discussed in the comments very controversy.
Most moderate and realistic opinions were that while this way of winning the Olympic trials was not nice, it was according to the rules and nothing could (and should) be done about it. Next Olympic trials should take care of situations like this, though. GER 21 gave an interview in Perth saying that this is "no nice fight, but according to the rules, it is allowed".

GER 61 earned much sympathy for their good performance in their "free" races in Perth. They earned even more sympathy for the fact that, in the last race in Perth, they won the Olympic ticket for German 470 sailors (nation criteria), knowing that it most likely will be the ticket of GER 21.

As to the "lawyer case": Some people seem to think that taking this to court is basically the same as what GER 21 did - do everything possible within the rules and fight hard. Many others think that going to court is no option at all. GER 21 would waste the sympathies they earned - they should accept the decision that was made by the German Sailing Association (DSV), according to the rules.

These points of view are again discussed - I have the impression, though, that the "court is a no-go" opinion overweighs a little.

This is probably not a complete overview, it is only what I understood and noted.
What I posted above is my personal view and does probably not reflect the opinions of any majority or of the DSV, OSA or DOSB. Just trying to give some background here. ;)


Friday 20 January 2012

LTW 2012 Winter Challenge - Episode 20/01

We have 12 contestants in the 2012 Winter Challenge at the moment. Unless you're very fast, you've missed the first episode (deadline is midnight tonight). But since the competition is to gather 100 points, perhaps you can catch up?

In the mean time here is Episode 20/01 in the
LTW 2012 Winter Challenge

Facts Found:

From positions 1 trough 3 boats are on opposite tacks, with Blue on Port tack, passing in front of Orange on Starboard tack. Orange is sailing about one boat length below the lay-line.

Blue luffs to tack in position 3.
Blue completes her tack to Starboard in the zone at a distance of one boat-length to windward and to the right of Orange, who luffs to head-to-wind to 'shoot' the mark.

Orange looses speed and after having passed the mark, bears off. Blue also bears off and gains speed. She is sailing a course that leaves about one boat-length space between the mark and her.
There is contact in position 5

Orange bears off even more and Blue is forced up.
Orange shouts protest in position 6 and displays a red flag in position 7

The contact caused no damage.
Neither boat took a penalty.

Rules of Part 2 involved: 10, 11, 13, 14, 16.1, 18.2(a), 18.3 and 18.5.

Winter Arrives in England; Broadway Tower, Fish Hill, Worcestershire

As a reminder, these are the Challenge Instructions again: (As AMENDED per 20/01/12 )
You are a member of the PC panel deciding the protest(s)

You are allowed ONE* question (so think about what you want to ask!) by using the comments button before the next Tuesday 08:00 GMT+01:00. (=my time)  After that, give me your conclusion and decision, within a week of posting, please. DEADLINE for this episode is 27/01/2012 23:59h.
(*if you ask more than one Q, I’ll answer only the first) & [and as a consequence I’ll edit your comment]

Questions will be answered in the order they are send in, after the deadline. Conclusions and Decisions will be published after one (and a bit) week. Points are awarded on consistency between conclusion and decision, and arguments used to reach them. The more succinct, the better!
[But they must be complete and refer to all rules involved]

Max 10 points per episode. First to reach 100 points wins a Sailors Quarrel Bag including a paper-plate with the Zone and Lay-lines [no second guessing or comments on scoring, please]
One entry per person – AND, you must use a NICKNAME to enter the competition – by sending an Email to me, with your email address, your real name and that nickname. rrs-study (at) home (dot) nl. Please put LTW 2012 Winter Challenge in the subject line. [If you want to remain anonymous use a nickname that isn’t the same or close to, your real name, but it is up to you]

To make it more equal, ISAF IJ’s or IU’s start with minus 25 points.

Good Luck.

UPDATE 24/01/2012 08:52 (GMT+1)
Answers to all (seven) questions below in the comments. Welcome to Bowman - a new challenger.
Good luck to all. You have until Friday midnight to send in your entries.

Polly I on tape

Polly I on tape, at the Groeneveld Cup 2011

The Rise and Downfall of PWB "The Polly I"

The Groenedijk Class and Event Rules

For the 2011 Groenedijk Cup
31 December 2011 @ 1500
37 Groenedijk, Sneek

Entry Fee: Adults – at least one bottle with appropriate contents (the more appropriate the contents – the more flexible the rules can be.) Children - free

Boat Rules:
  • Maximum Hull Length Overall: 660 mm
  • Beam: unrestricted
  • Sails must fit into a rectangle of 1000 mm x 500 mm
  • Boats can be of any design and can be built from any material, but the limit of material value is €10. The re-cycling of rubbish (plastic bottles, cans, plastic bags etc) is to be commended.
  • Bows of multi-hulls are to be connected with, wire, tape, batten or similar (to prevent trapping of other boats)
  • Construction may not start before 25 December (dated photo of construction may be required), but design and accumulation of materials are permitted
  • Sailing boats only; no stored power to be used (rubber bands, batteries, radio control, pet dogs, ducks, etc are prohibited.)

Small Print:
  • There will be as many races as it takes, and as many discards as necessary.
  • The course will be one way across a suitable stretch of water. The course for the next race will be the reverse of the previous course.
  • The starting sequence and similar rules shall become known as the event progresses.
  • The event and boat design may be affected by the temperature of the water, that is, above or below 0oC. Smart design will account for this subtle difference!
  • Pets, animals and livestock are to be dissuaded from close participation in the racing.
  • Anything else I can think of, but have forgotten to include here.
  • There shall be no complaints unless accompanied by a glass of mulled red wine.

Arbitrary rulings on matters related, or unrelated, to the Groenedijk Cup can be obtained from the Chief Race Officer/Judge/Measurer. 

Building the Polynesian Warbird "Polly I"

Sailing the Polynesian Warbird "Polly I"



I'm over it now... but it took a couple of days......

Thursday 19 January 2012

German Consequences (2)

Somehow yesterdays post was not included in the feed; I.m reposting the text again and will delete (except for a link) the old post

Recently a ISAF Q&A was published and that changed the interpretation of Case 78. I'm referring to
Q&A 2011-022 A001. Here's the text:
In a fleet race, Boat A adopts tactics that clearly interfere with and hinder Boat B's progress in the race. While using those tactics, boat A does not break any rule, except possibly rule 2.

In which of the following circumstances would Boat A’s tactics be considered unsportsmanlike and a breach of rule 2?
(a) Boat A’s tactics benefit her series result.
(b) Boat A’s tactics increase her chances of gaining selection for another event. *
(c) Boat A’s tactics increase her chances of gaining selection to her national
     team. *

(d) Boat A and Boat C had agreed that they would both adopt tactics that
     benefited Boat C’s series result.
(e) Boat A was attempting to worsen Boat B’s race or series score for reasons
     unconnected with sport.
* (my highlight)
In circumstances (a), (b) and (c), Boat A would be in compliance with recognised principles of sportsmanship and fair play because there is a sporting reason for her actions.
In circumstance (d), both Boat A and Boat C would clearly break rule 2. In addition, by receiving help prohibited by rule 41 from Boat A, Boat C would also break rule 41.
In circumstance (e) Boat A would break rule 2 because, with no good sporting

For good measure:
Case 78 states: (but will be amended according to the wording in the Q&A):

Rule 2, Fair Sailing
Rule A2, Series Scores

A boat may position herself in a tactically controlling position over another boat and then slow that boat’s progress so that other boats pass both of them, provided that, if she is protested under rule 2 for doing so, the protest committee finds that that there was a reasonable chance of her tactic benefiting her series result. However, she breaks rule 2 if she intentionally breaks another rule to increase the likelihood of the tactic succeeding.
Go to (pillow)Case of the Week 35 If you want to read the whole case.

As highlighted in the Q&A, the change is in (b) and (c). The number of 'sporting reasons' is increased to include selection for another event or national team.

My Google alert showed that this is something that is now heavily under debate in Germany. Specifically for the Woman 470 selection for the Olympics. An article in the sports section of a newspaper called: Frankfurter Allgemeine:

For those of you who don't read German: The article states that one of the teams - loosing the selection to go to the Olympics - has hired a 'high profile' sports advocate to go after the German MNA 'Deutsche Segler Verband' (DSV) to try to reverse its decision to send the other team to Weymouth.

Why is this happening?

At the World Championship 2011 in Perth the two boats had a final change to score points for qualification. One of the boats (GER21) made sure by blocking the progress of the other boat (GER 61) that they would do badly in the regatta and more importantly, would loose the selection to go to the Olympics. GER 61 protested and the International Jury gave its verdict: From the protest summary:

© picture alliance / dpa
GER 61 in front of GER 21
P113 (Closed) 470 Women;  Race 8, Protestor: GER 61, Protestee: GER 21, Witness: Tracking system, About RRS 2, date hearing: 16 DEC 2011/18:15, Decision: Protest Dismissed.

The International Jury found that GER 21 had indeed blocked the progress of GER 61 but not by breaking any rules and for the reasons mentioned under (b) and/or (c). Protest was dismissed.

But the consequence was very dramatic for the Crew of GER 61. The final standing in Perth might even have direct influence on their status (read support and money) in the national team.

In the newspaper article the lawyer states:
" The DSV and the (also to be dragged into this fight German Olympic Committee) Deutsche Olympische Sportbund (DOSB) should use there own selection rules and not the recently changed interpretation by ISAF in this case"
"GER 21 should be banned from participating in Weymouth for using this blocking tactic" That would mean automatic qualification for his client.
And in a related article in the same newspaper, the helms-woman of GER 61 declared:
"Some countries have forbidden the sailors of their national teams to use these blocking tactics
The German MNA, Deutsche Segler Verband defended their position on their website (here)

The OSA (The German Olympic Selection Committee) came, after extensive discussion and advice and in light of earlier decisions, unanimously to the same conclusion as the International Jury.

It is now up to the DOSB to make the final decision who's representing Germany in the 2012 Olympics.

Basically the problem boils down to the fact that the selection regulations/criteria in most countries were written long before this new interpretation was published. And therfore didn't take in account that changed interpretation. Sailors will use the rule that most suits their interest - and who can blame that?

Perhaps it would have been better to have waited with this particular Q&A until after the Olympics?
What do you think?

Wednesday 18 January 2012

German Consequences?

The text of this post has been copied and pasted in Thursday's Post: Go to: German Consequences (2)

Tuesday 17 January 2012

LTW Readers Q&A (58); New Facts?

From Andraz, already some time on my shelf, a new LTW Readers Q&A. I think he wrote it after this post: Do you have a watch?

Recently I have had two interesting cases on the hearings, more or less the same thing happened, but still it does not happen very often. Maybe your readers will give it a thought or two, since I noticed different opinions when deliberating the outcome of the hearings.

Boat A protested boat B for infringing rule 13/18.3(a) on the windward mark. Protest form identified the race as race no. 2, both protestor and protestee were identified, there was a witness, "Protest" was hailed immediately, no red flag necessary, other party heard the hail, no other requirements existed.

Jury found the protest valid, read the data written on the form to the parties and heard the stories of both parties and witness. From facts found the jury decided that boat B did break rule 13 and was to be DSQ in race 2.
At the moment the parties were called back in to the jury room, protestee says: "Sorry, everything we told you is true, but the incident happened in race 1."

How do you proceed?

Here are some questions that might help your readers through:
  1. Is such a protest valid?
  2. Can the protestee's comment at the end of a hearing actually change anything?
  3. If the protestor realises he made an error, what is the last time he can change the information on the protest form?
  4. If the jury decides for a penalty, which race will the boat B be disqualified in?
  5. Protestor initially didn't want to come to the hearing. Could he ask for reopening the next day (in less than 24 hours)?
  6. If the protestee didn't check the form prior to the hearing and jury didn't read the data to the parties, could this be an error or omission, ground for a redress?
I think this is a fine example of what can happen if a party does not inspect the protest form prior to the hearing or they are not given enough time to prepare.

Also the jury must take some time to scrutinise every detail of the protest...
Regards, Andraz=

Well Andraz, the only precedent we can use is written in Q&A 2011-021:
J 022 Q&A 2011-021
Published: 3 November 2011

Boat A delivers a protest form to the jury secretary, protesting boat B in race 7. Shortly after the form is delivered, the boat's representative returns and says it was race 8, not race 7 and wishes to amend the protest form.

Question 1
Should the jury secretary permit the competitor to amend the form?
Answer 1
Yes. However, the jury secretary should notify the protest committee of the details of any change to the protest form, the identity of the person who made the change, and the time when the change was made.
Question 2
Does it matter if the protest time limit has expired or not?
Answer 2
No. It is up the protest committee to decide on the validity of the protest.
In my opinion your questions should get these answers:
  1. Up to the panel to decide, but I would vote yes. It is as much the responsibility of the protestee to object and raise this point, as it is for the PC to check.
  2. Yes, it can. If both parties agree it was race 2, not race 1, the PC should amend that.
  3. According to Q&A 2011-021, anytime before the hearing, as long as it is recorded.
  4. Race 1.
  5. If she wouldn't come to the initial hearing, how can the PC decide if she is bringing a new fact that wasn't available at the original hearing? She can ask for re-opening, but I doubt it will be permitted.
  6. It is an error and grounds for redress. The redress should be scoring the sailed finish place in Race 2 instead of DSQ, and DSQ in Race 1.
What is your opinion?

Monday 16 January 2012

(pillow)Case of the week (03/12) – 27

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

(pillow)Case picture
Rule 2, Fair Sailing
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 15, Acquiring Right of Way

A boat is not required to anticipate that another boat will break a rule. When a boat acquires right of way as a result of her own actions, the other boat is entitled to room to keep clear.

Summary of the Facts

AS was clear ahead of BP when she reached the zone. Between position 1 and 2, AS, a hull length to leeward and a hull length ahead of BP, tacked as soon as she reached the starboard-tack lay line. Almost immediately she was hit and damaged by BP travelling at about ten knots. The protest committee disqualified AS for breaking rule 15. It also disqualified BP under rule 2, pointing out that she knew AS was going to tack but did nothing to avoid a collision. BP appealed, asserting that she was not obligated to anticipate an illegal tack.


BP’s appeal is upheld. She is to be reinstated.
After AS reached the zone, BP was required to keep clear of AS and give her mark-room under rule 18.2(b). Both these obligations ended when AS passed head to wind because the boats were then on opposite tacks and on a beat to windward. When AS passed through head to wind, BP became the right-of-way boat under rule 13 and held right of way until AS assumed a close-hauled course on starboard tack. At that moment AS, having just acquired right of way under rule 10, was required by rule 15 to give BP room to keep clear. BP took no action to avoid a collision, but what could she have done? Given her speed and the distance involved, she had perhaps one to two seconds to decide what to do and then do it.

It is a long-established principle of the right-of-way rules, as stated in rule 15, that a boat that becomes obligated to keep clear by an action of another boat is entitled to sufficient time for response. Also, while it was obvious that AS would have to tack to round the mark, BP was under no obligation to anticipate that AS would break rule 15, or indeed any other rule. BP broke neither rule 2 nor rule 14.

 USSA 1971/140


There are many cases in the casebook that are ‘important’. But, in my opinion, together with Case 50, this case is about a fundamental principle.

The rules don’t demand anticipation. You don’t have to think about what another boat is going to do. You only have to react to what a boat is actually doing. (There’s an exception in rule 18, but I’m going into that, at this moment)

In his Case boat BP had only a few seconds to avoid AS, after AS completed her tack. Although it was obvious that AS wanted to tack to round the mark, she had to, besides judging the room she needed to complete her tack, also to take in consideration the time and space BP would need to keep clear, once she was on starboard. Rule 15 is written to point to that fundamental principle.

One boat length to leeward and one boat length ahead is not enough distance to tack in front. In Match Racing the Umpires would conclude that there was not enough room to tack and therefore BP was in a controlling position.
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