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Gordon W Davies

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  1. Darin, I hope that your questions have been answered. The interpretation took a lot of work. Gordon
  2. An update to this discussion might be appropriate as both the rule and the call have changed. The relevant part of the rule reads: E4.3(b) if the boat gained an advantage in the heat or the race by her breach despite taking a penalty, her penalty shall be additional One-Turn Penalties until her advantage is lost. One point that is often lost in discussion on this rule - in the main body of the rules RRS 44.1(b) states : if the boat (...) despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire. The Appendix E is intended to allow boats to continue racing! Answer 2 of Call P4 addresses the issue of what constitutes an advantage: A boat still has an advantage in the heat or race when, having taken one or more one-turn penalties, she has gained by her breach a place or places in that heat or race, or has not lost a place or places that she would have done if she had not broken a rule . See rule E4.3(b). Advantage should be measured from a time and position immediately before the boat broke the rule for which she is taking the penalty, until the completion of her last one-turn penalty. If the boat's position in the heat or race after taking one or more penalty turns is better than it would have been if she had not broken a rule, she has not completed her penalty and needs to make one or more further turns. If she fails to do so until she no longer has an advantage, she may be further penalized for her breach either following a hearing or, in umpired racing, by the umpire. Any advantage gained is to be measured relative to the whole fleet. A boat may, after taking one or more one-turn penalties, be in a better position than the boat she infringed, but in a worse position than if she had not broken a rule. In this case she has completed her penalty. As a result the current situation is that : - the advantage has to be gained by a breach of the rules; - if, despite taking a penalty, a boat has gained a place or places, or has not lost a place or places that she would have done if she had not broken a rule then she should take additional penalty turns; - advantage is to be evaluated relative to the whole fleet not to the boat she infringed. It would be interesting to receive feedback on how this rule and interpretation works on the water. Gordon Davies
  3. Yes, a boat MAY be protested. The question is should the protest committee conclude that the boat broke rule 31, Touching the Mark. PCs apply as the standard of proof the 'balance of possibilities' - whether it is more likely than not that an allegation or claim has been established (see WS Case 122). If the facts found are that an observer saw the mark move and inferred from that the boat touched the mark I would hope that the PC would conclude that the allegation has been not been established on the balance of probabilities. The issue is more acute in radio sailing as there is great pressure (under HMS) to retire rather than risk a protest hearing and possible disqualification. Observers are appointed by the Race Committee. The Race Committee should give clear instructions that observers hail contact only when they have clearly seen the contact, not when they have other, less direct, indications. Any protest would be initiated by the Race Committee, who should take care to ascertain what exactly the observer saw. Finally, the PC should be aware that they should only penalise if they have clear unambiguous evidence that a boat touched a mark. Gordon
  4. The rules are clear - a hail of 'Hold your Course' from a port tack boat has no meaning under the Racing Rules of Sailing. The port tack boat must keep clear (RRS 10) and the starboard tack boat IF she changes course must give a keep clear boat room to keep clear (RRS 16.1). Repeated hails that are meaningless or misleading are a clear breach of recognised principles of sportsmanship and fair play and breaks rule 2, Fair Play. Protest! Gordon
  5. The RYA runs a rules advisor scheme that provides a means to hold informal discussion on incidents after racing. This could be useful at radio sailing events. I agree that the more rules are discussed the better rule observance becomes. Just as long as the rules under discussion are the ones in the book, not half remembered memories or inventions. Perhaps, ensuring that a rule book is available at each event might help... The most difficult part of a judges job is establishing facts when the evidence given is contradictory. We have to use our own experience and establish facts ON THE BALANCE OF PROBABILITY... which is a low level of proof. However, as the rules stand, we do have to find facts. Rough justice sometimes results, but that is better than waiting 2 hours for a decision. Gordon
  6. Darin, I believe that we would all prefer to prevent incidents occurring rather than resolve them by penalties or protests afterwards Calling the other boat and explaining very briefly the situation can be helpful to all competitors - and to observers and umpires. Perhaps one day we could run an experiment with an observer or umpire giving warnings -much as the rugby referees do in certain situations. For example, when umpiring, I will talk to my observer as the boats in to the mark (especially the leeward mark) indicating to him the order in which I expect them to round the mark (easier with IOMs as we can refer to colours) and which boats must give mark-room. Would it radically change the game if this information was available to competitors, or would it reduce the likelihood of a boat taking a chance and diving in to a gap. Gordon (Please note that any opinions expressed here are personal and do not represent the policy of any organisation of which I may be a member or officer!)
  7. Dave, Rule 5.3 effectively bans visual aids - but ONLY for umpires and observers - not the race committee. In the same way E5.3 restricts the umpires and observers to the control area (another good reason for defining one) but not the race committee. Gordon
  8. Dave, 1. Your suggested rule on control area is an excellent text for a race officers manual of best practice. As is your text regarding the course. However, I ma not convinced that they should be rules. It is always best to define a control area -if only to prevent umpires and observers from standing on the opposite bank. Hearing hails can be an issue. I am 'blessed' with a very loud voice so the issue does not arise. It often happens that an umpire or observer makes the effort to walk or run to be near a mark so that they can judge incidents easily, only to find that the competitor has not moved. Perhaps we can discuss the size of the control area in another thread. 2. There is no need to change any starting rules for a reaching or running start. Rule 22.1 is clear that after the start a boat returning to start shall keep clear of boats that are not returning. At all other times the rules of Part 2 section A apply. Personally I would recommend not using the I flag rule as it tends to encourage boats to avoid the middle of the line. IF, nad only if, the line was fair (which does not always mean square) after a general recall I suggest going straight to U flag. Gordon
  9. I have just read this thread. RRS are far simpler than they were before 1997. There was a substantial re-write published then. In comment I would remind readers that the rules of Part 2 are divided into 4 Sections. Section A Right of Way defines which boat must keep clear. Section B sets out General Limitations which limit what right of way boats can do. In this case: - Port has an obligation to keep clear of Starboard; - every time Starboard changes course she must give Port room to keep clear. Please note that this does NOT mean that Starboard cannot change course - as Port is hoping to cross ahead of Starboard rule 16.2 does not apply. - both boats must avoid contact if reasonably possible. This means that if Port hails 'Hold your course' this is essentially a meaningless hail. NO rule obliges Starboard to hold her course, however rule 16.1 tells us that she must give Port room to keep clear if she does change course. If Starboard does change course and Port either cannot avoid contact, or is obliged to make an un-seamanlike manoeuvre in order to avoid Starboard, then Starboard has broken rule 16.1 and rule 14. If Port could avoid Starboard but does not do so she breaks rule 10 and rule 14. On the other hand if Starboard clearly indicates that she will let Port cross ahead (usually for tactical reasons) she must allow Port to cross. If subsequently Starboard changes course in such a way that Port cannot keep clear then the PC should consider if Starboard has broken rule 2 Fair Sailing. Gordon PS RRS are not really suitable for 100 foot yachts. Which is why there is now an Appendix SY for super-yachts over 100 foot. Keeping clear means being over 40 metres away, mark-room is being 80 metres away and the zone (I believe) is 300 metres. Boats remain in constant radio contact. Mistakes can cost millions and lives!
  10. 1. I believe the intention of the original proposers of this rule was that only one extra turn would be required. Unfortunately judges only take account of the words of a rule not the intention. The rule is clear,if after taking A penalty a boat has gained a significant advantage her penalty shall be an additional One Turn Penalty. Having taken an additional turn the same test applies and additional turns may be required. 2. The rule does not refer to any disadvantage suffered by the infringed boat. The rule refers to gaining an advantage in the heat or race. It has been argued that a boat that was 6th in a race before infringing the rule and is 8th after taking a penalty has gained no advantage IN THE HEAT even if they are still in front of the infringed boat 3 The advantage must be due to the infringing boat's breach of the rule. Not subsequent poor boat handling by the infringed boat, or her inability to get out of irons because she decided to sail with a rig that is too big for the wind. 4 What constitutes an advantage? There are many possible answers. To sum up - this rule is a good idea, but requires re-wording and/interpretation. I am not convinced that proposed changes currently in the pipeline will solve these issues. Gordon
  11. David, As WS Case 99 points out in neither case you mention is a boat exonerated from breaking a racing rule. A boat temporarily losing control is still racing. Rule E2.3 changes this ONLY for boats that lose radio control. Another point - the rules of Part 2 When Boats Meet apply when boats are sailing in or near the racing area and intend to race, are racing or have been racing. So a boat that has retired is still subject to the rules of Part 2, although they can only be penalised for not avoiding contact resulting in injury or serious damage, or for interfering with a boat that was racing. Gordon
  12. WS Case 99 is clear - 'The fact that a boat required to keep clear is out of control does not entitle her to exoneration for breaking a rule of Part 2' It also adds 'When a right of way boat becomes obliged by rule 14 to avoid contact if reasonably possible, and the only way to do so is to crash-gybe, she does not break the rule if she does not crash-gybe' I would add that: - a right of way boat is still subject to rules 15, 16 and 17 even if out of control - although the case refers specifically to a crash gybe, the same principle would apply if a RoW is required to make any unseamanlike manouevre. Rule E2.3 allow a boat out of radio control once they have hailed 'Out of Control' to retire with no further penalty if they break any Part 2 rule. A boat cannot 'unretire' if she subsequently regains radio control. Gordon
  13. Under RRS 44.1 A boat MAY take a penalty when she MAY have broken a rule. The penalty is voluntary and does not imply that the does has broken a rule. Taking a penalty may be an insurance policy. Another point is that both boats may have broken a rule. So, a boat may take a penalty and then protest. However there are no grounds for redress if a boat takes a penalty but is later found not to have broken a rule. The situation is somewhat different under IRSA Add. Q. Once a boat has taken a penalty the umpires cannot penalise either boat. However, if no decision is hailed by an umpire then a boat is entitled to a hearing. Gordon
  14. For the One Metre Worlds the following text was included in the NOR: In order that a disabled competitor may be able to compete on equal terms, the race committee shall make as fair an arrangement as possible. Disabled competitors who require any form of help or special requirements shall contact (name of contact) at (email address of contact prior to entry to confirm that suitable arrangements can be made. It is the competitor’s responsibility to determine that adequate facilities are available before entering the event. This might prove useful. We did have a deaf mute competitor who competed happily, with an assistant to pass on information and make hails as necessary. Initially, it was intended to include provision for disabled competitors in rule E4.2 Outside Help. However, it was far simpler to write a separate rule, as not all elements of 'as fair an arrangement as possible' would constitute outside help. Personally I believe that the sport of radio sailing should take pride in this provision. Lastly - Charles, I wish that the Rule Book was always as limpid, with no lack of clarity, as you believe it is! There are several points that are a perpetual subject of debate. One instance is what constitutes 'serious damage'.
  15. If I could add to John's excellent article: - Getting well clear. The boat must attempt to get clear as soon as possible after the incident, and continue attempting to get clear. Attempting to get clear may mean slowing down or stopping, luffing well above the course to the next mark, or bearing away. Continuing to sail at the same speed and direction as the other boats is not attempting to get clear. - Whilst the boat is getting clear, and until she starts to take her penalty, she is not subject to rule 22.2. Other boats, for instance those overlapped to windward or those clear astern, may be required to keep clear of a boat attempting to get well clear. However, a boat that interferes with another boat while sailing to get clear, when she has an alternative, does not sail to get clear as soon as possible. A boat starts to take a penalty when she is clearly turning to carry out a tack or gybe. For further details see IRSA Case Book P5 and P6. Gordon
  16. From a racing rules point of view: - the standard World Sailing wording is 'Each participating boat shall be insured with valid third party liability insurance with a minimum cover of __________________ per incident or the equivalent. There is usually a reasonable excess on most policies - €500 would be common in Europe. This means that in most circumstances a competitor who damages another boat will have to 'do the decent thing' and make good any damage. However, if you, on port, collide with and sink a brand new all carbon racing machine sailing on starboard the policy should cover this. This seems only reasonable when a new boat can represent several months take home pay. - RYA prescriptions on rule 67 mean that the protest committee has no part to play in issues of liability of claim for damages. The protest committee merely decides whether a racing rule has been broken. Most countries have similar prescriptions. - most disclaimers of liability have no effect whatsoever. Which is why the RYA recommends that the disclaimer is replaced by a Risk Statement (see page 115 of the current RYA rule book.This policy is slowly spreading world-wide. Gordon
  17. A simple idea that would work. I would be in favour. Gordon
  18. Should boats that have multiple certificates have a different sail number for each certificate? This would avoid the temptation for a Marblehead owner of one hull with 3 certificates switching between the 27 rigs that he can potentially register. IRSA Technical Committee, who proposed the changes, have issued explanatory notes. Personally I have not studied the new rules in detail yet - to avoid confusion when I am at events. I once spend a morning team racing umpiring with a highly respected umpire who was working to next years rules that he had been working on - very disconcerting. I still have 3 big events this year. Gordon
  19. This was a subject of great debate. There was strong feeling that one digit numbers were confusing for hails - particularly when there were multiple boats OCS. I am not convinced that there is an ideal solution. Regarding other rule changes - family members attending an event in company with a competitor may now be considered as support persons and are thus subject to the Racing Rules, in particular rule 69 Misconduct. This means, for instance, that a spectator who berates an umpire or observer for a hail (or lack of hail) may be sanctioned by the Jury. Gordon
  20. John, I would agree with most of your analysis. However when you say 'But by not hailing for room to tack, she is making an implicit decision to pass astern of Green,' I would not phrase the comment in that way. By not hailing for room to tack Red indicates that she will attempt to keep clear of Green not by tacking but by: - attempting to cross ahead; in which case Yellow must give her room to do so - bearing away astern; in which case she must give Yellow room to do likewise - slowing down (a much neglected tactical measure but in this case it might well be a good tactic as it leaves Yellow in a difficult situation) Small details perhaps.... Gordon
  21. Q1 Redress can only be given when a boat becomes entangled and as a result retires. In this case boat was able to continue in the race. No redress. Q2 No, she must retire as a result of the initial entanglement Q3 Yes, going up or down would be a significant advantage in the heat or race. Rule E4.3 refers to penalties taken at the tile of the incident. Significant advantage is evaluated after a boat has taken the required penalty. If after taking a penalty a boat is ahead of the infringed boat this usually means that she has gained a significant advantage... especially on the last leg near the finish. The one proviso is that the infringed boat is being sailed in a seamanlike way (and not, for instance, stuck in irons because she has chosen a rig that is too big) Q8 Under E5.1c the observer reports unresolved incidents. In his report it would always be helpful to include information regarding the positions of the 2 boats after turns have been taken. When sailing under IRSA Addendum Q the observer and umpire can decide that a significant advantage has been gained. Gordon
  22. John, Your question 1 is an open question. The answer will not be yes or no. I would predict that the answer to question 2 is that rule E4.3 b applies as interpreted by Q&A Q&A 2013-022. The keep clear boat ceases to have a significant advantage when she is clearly last in the heat - which is not that much better than DNS. Gordon
  23. Unfortunately judges do not apply what a rules was intended to do, or what it looks like the rule may be trying to say. We are pedantic creatures and we apply the rule as is written, unless we find an authoritative text that inteprets the rule differently Rule E3.7 is clear: if the race committee informs a boat that she has broken rule 30.3 then she shall immediately leave the course area. If the race committee does not inform her then she does not need to leave the course area. For the Q&A to allow the boat shunted across the line to sail on the race committee must NOT tell her she was BFD. I would be grateful for any feedback at events in which the RC adopts the policy of not hailing. Interestingly, there does not seem to be a rule that obliges the RC to hail. Gordon
  24. There are disadvantages in not getting a BFD boat off the race track. If they are permitted to sail on they can interfere with other boats (even if they do not break a rule in doing so). Most sailors would prefer the BFD boat not to be there. There does seem to be a case for experimentation There are several ways to resolve this issue, each of which may have unintended consequences. Gordon
  25. Having taken more time to think this through, a boat that has been shunted over the line on a Black Flag start cannot return and restart. Rule E3.7 requires her to leave the course area as soon as she is hailed by the RC. Maybe, a very 'on the ball' Race Officer may decide not to hail the 'shunted' boat. So, unless this happens, at the very best the 'shunted boat' could only be exonerated from being BFD and be scored DNS. Gordon
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