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WS Submissions on App E.


Gordon W Davies

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There are a number of submissions to World Sailing regarding Appendix E.

These can be found at:

https://www.sailing.org/inside-world-sailing/organisation/governance/conferences/2023-world-sailing-annual-conference/2023-world-sailing-annual-conference-submission-papers/

In particular submissions:  056-23 to 063-23

These submissions include:

- deleting observers and hails for contact from the rule book and replacing these rules by simplified rules for umpiring

- allowing umpires to roam freely and not be restricted to remaining with competitors in the control area

- allowing umpires to penalise directly for contact between boats or between an boat and a mark

- removing in umpired racing the difference between a one-turn voluntary penalty and a two-turn umpire given penalty

- removing from the rule book obligatory protection for long radio aerials, and redress for radio interference.

These submissions were presented by the Croatian Sailing Federation. Neither IRSA  nor IRSA classes were consulted before these submissions were made.

 

I would be very interested to hear your reactions.

 

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Reporting Committee – Racing Rules
Other Committee – (World Sailing use only) Submission: 057-23
Racing Rules of Sailing
RRS E2.4
A submission from the Croatian Sailing Federation
Purpose or Objective
Rule not necessary.
Proposal
E2.4 Transmitter Aerials
If a transmitter aerial is longer than 200mm when extended, the extremity shall be adequately
protected.
Current Position
As above.
Reasons
Transmitter aerials longer then 200 mm do not exist anymore.

 

They most certainly do, at last weekends A Class Nationals one skipper was using a non 2.4 radio with a nice foam ball on the end. the ball to me was more of a visual indicator to the long aerial than a safety feature.

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Thanks Gordon for the heads up.

From the Croatian Proposal:

 RC sailing races are held close to the shoreline and complete race area is clearly visible. This makes umpiring the best choice to get as many as possible decisions made on the water and save time of hearings in favour of more racing. Umpiring system shall be simple and effective as relative boat speeds are quite high and decisions needs to be made quickly. Proposed text is coming from more than 20 years of different umpiring systems tested on various RC events keeping the focus on simplicity and efficiency.

Some interesting proposals that (not surprisingly) weren’t shared through IRSA, IRSA Class or widely through class NCAs or MNAs before being put forward.

To me without digging deep on each point, these changes represent a return to the past without giving thought to why umpired races have evolved to what is the current norm.

Im not going to suggest one system or style is perfect and another is not. Umpired racing no matter what the system, with use of competitors as observers or not, has good an bad points. What i will state though is that i feel with observers used, paired with umpires, i find there are more calls and more situations noticed. Skippers invariably have the best eyes and are an asset when used this way as observers.

I find Umpired races without have a lot more incidents missed and less consistency of rulings due to the extra pressures put on a single person over a pair.

The overriding features that i would not like to have revisted are the “Us and Them” days of Umpires versus Competitors and vice versa. When competitors observe with an umpire, an important barrier is broken down. They both work as a team for the good of a heat, the race and event. Competitors learn from their umpire in conversation and feel at ease in asking any interpretations or cases over an event. Events that have this are far better from an enjoyment factor. It is long known Umpirers are sourced from areas more cost effective to an event which can create its own issues with accusations of bias. The pairing of skippers with these Umpires removes any of this.

Why someone would want to take us back 20 plus years to the dark days of competitors acting no different to modern day footballers in seeking to get away with whatever they can and only playing to the whistle is beyond me. Less fouls noticed and inconsistent rulings may suit some, but hardly encourages fair sailing.

Any person not willing to be adjudicated on by their peers in partnership with an accredited umpire for a fairer event should give their head a wobble.

In umpired racing, the the right result and the right atmosphere are just as important as Simplicity and Efficiency.

As for Antenna lengths, i see no reason to delete this rule. Highly unlikely an older radio with this will be used but as these radios are not banned, then the rule should stay to universally protect all from that one time injury possiblity.

 

Cheers

Brad

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What I don’t understand is why the removal of the use of observers is being proposed. The rules clearly state that their use is at the discretion of the organisers. Therefore leaving in makes no difference if a club or country wish not use them.

seems to be a case of changing a rule for the sake of it.

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The best explanation I ever heard of the racing rules of sailing, and of the role of judges and umpires, was given by the past World Sailing Racing Rules Committee Chair, John Doerr.  He said, "Race officials provide a dispute resolution service.  They are not policemen.  If you are aggrieved, you protest.  If you are not aggrieved, well, no one should interfere with your racing."  I can only hope that the new World Sailing Racing Rules Committee Chair, Ana Sanchez, is similarly minded.

 

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The proposals on observing/umpiring seem to be based on:

- a belief that an observer cannot be disinterested and has an obvious conflict of interest

- to extend the current situation in Croatia (a small number of regattas all umpired with no observers) to the rest of the world

- to remove the one -turn voluntary, two turn umpire given, penalty difference. This means that umpires will be empowered to penalise with out warning after contact. This despite previous experience that if penalty given by umpire is the same, most competitors will wait for the umpire call.

- allow umpires to roam freely on the bank or on the water, outside the control area.

 

I would argue that these proposals are a major game-changer. They undo over 40 years of development of rules and practices that actively involve competitors in implementing the basic principle of sportsmanship that competitors follow and enforce the rules. These proposal seek to replace not reinforce self policing.

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33 minutes ago, Gordon W Davies said:

The proposals on observing/umpiring seem to be based on:

- a belief that an observer cannot be disinterested and has an obvious conflict of interest

- to extend the current situation in Croatia (a small number of regattas all umpired with no observers) to the rest of the world

- to remove the one -turn voluntary, two turn umpire given, penalty difference. This means that umpires will be empowered to penalise with out warning after contact. This despite previous experience that if penalty given by umpire is the same, most competitors will wait for the umpire call.

- allow umpires to roam freely on the bank or on the water, outside the control area.

 

I would argue that these proposals are a major game-changer. They undo over 40 years of development of rules and practices that actively involve competitors in implementing the basic principle of sportsmanship that competitors follow and enforce the rules. These proposal seek to replace not reinforce self policing.

100% in agreeance Gordon.

Probably worth a mention to anyone looking in that these changes being proposed relate to International Events any any specific Events that may be using Umpires. 

I find the push against use of observers a strange one in suggesting their use is a conflict of interest. Making an observer call with an umpire within the same race is essentially no different than that observer being on the startline in that particular heat and protesting. Do we level accustaions of conflicting interest when one competitor protests another or hails a contact between two boats in their same heat?

Having been fortunate to sail in a number of fleets in areas that use and do not use observers, I can not praise their use and inclusion highly enough over races held without. The standard of racing with observers is not only greatly improved, but so to the conduct of skippers on the course. Is it perfect or does it solve all issues? I’m afraid no system is as we see from the many rules discussions that pop up over time.

But is it better than a mostly lawless non observer system at larger events where the bully rolls on while the agrieved are looked down on for ever trying to take them to task through protest, all while an overbearing, booming voice of a PRO tries to enforce some kind of control over the pack?  More arguing and bickering on the bank and just scrappy racing. It might suit some but not my idea of an enjoyable race.
 

Edited by Brad Gibson
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WS Sailing already have rules for Umpired Radio Sailing based on the rules developed by IJs and radio sailors over the years. These rules include observers, hails of contact and one-turn voluntary/two turn umpire given penalties and are intended to change the game as little as possible.

These proposals,however, seek to modify these rules in several ways and make them the default rules for radio sailing.

Any event that does not want to use umpires and use observers will be required to write into the NoR a significant number of rule changes.

Edited by Gordon W Davies
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5 minutes ago, Gordon W Davies said:

WS Sailing already have rules for Umpired Radio Sailing based on the rules developed by IJs and radio sailors over the years. These rules include observers, hails of contact and one-turn voluntary/two turn umpire given penalties and are intended to change the game as little as possible.

These proposals,however, seek to modify these rules in several ways and make them the default rules for radio sailing.

Any event that does not want to use umpires and use observers will be required to write into the NoR a significant number of rule changes.

Thanks for the clarification. Hello lawlessness….

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The way CRO has gone forward with these proposals is a topic for a discussion of it's own. 

The proposal in itself fails to consider the fact, that these new rules would apply for any event held under the RRS. This does not only change the way World or Continental championships would be managed but would also apply to local, regional and national events. We can not expect all types and sizes of events to be run with an adequate number of umpires.

1.) most MNAs don’t have the number of umpires necessary to run the ranking races for various classes. Unlike CRO MNAs such as AUS, AUT, GBR, NED, GER, USA and many others don’t only sail a single class (IOM in the case of CRO) but run ranking lists and subsequent regattas for Marblehead, 10R, A and other classes.


2.) even if travel and lodging are kept to the bare minimum, the necessary team of umpires creates significant additional cost inflating entry fees at all levels. Even at an international level talks keep arising, how to reduce the financial impact caused be the size of the race management team prescribed by WS and the RRS. Instead of reducing cost at international level, the proposal would inflict this burden at every level of the sport.

Using observers as an additional pair of eyes for the umpires is a proven system. Not only does it improve the quality of the racing it also creates a rapport between umpires and competitors which benefits both parties. There is no need to fix something that isn’t broken.

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This proposal does no only remove observers from umpired racing but also from all radio sailing. If you wish to use observers then you will have to write rules for each event.

In addition it removes the requirement for umpires to be in the control area, and also allows witnesses to be outside the control area, and witnesses may be competitors not racing in the heat.

This means that at some events competitors could be more that 70m from the incident while umpires sit in a boat at the windward mark, or your competitors/witness sit on a deckchair on the bank, viewing the incident from a few metres.

Another point is the allegation that observers obviously have a conflict of interest, and are not disinterested sources of information.

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I suppose the fundamental question is, what can the MNAs do to avert these proposals to be voted on by WS?

My worry is, that the rules council at WS has no real oversight of what is happening in the RC sailing world. To the council members, with no further insight, the proposals as they stand make good sense and subsequently would receive the necessary votes.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

The IRSA Chair Bruce Anderson, received this reply from the World Sailing Rules Committee following their meeting.

Thank you to the MYA members who replied with your views - it was most supportive and helpful.

In summary, the Croatia proposals were rejected, as was the proposed 2023 change to E8. So the 2022 proposals to modify Appendix E8 to match the IRSA temporary version (inserted into the 3 ICAs) appears to have been adopted, as was the change to the hail for R20.1 to match the hail used at Radio Sailing Wold Championships - (your sail number Room to Tack) - it was interesting to note that the RYA proposed a similar prescribed hail for 'big' boats.

See below for the Copy/pasted note from the IRSA DNM forum.

Still to be finalised is the placement for Redress for radio interference - move to R 62 or leave in App E.

John

Received notice of the results of the proposed Appendix E rule changes from WC RRC:

Hi Bruce,

Here you have the final decisions of the RRC on the submissions concerning Appendix E.

Best regards

Ana

056-23
Rule E1.1 Definitions
Reporting Committee: Racing Rules Committee

Other Committee:
Decision: Reject
The Committee understands there is no consensus within the community, the Radio Sailing WP is split, and IRSA does not support the changes. In these circumstances, the WP is unable to recommend these changes be approved.
057-23
Rule E2.4
Reporting Committee: Racing Rules Committee

Other Committee:
Decision: Reject
The Committee understands there is no consensus within the community, the Radio Sailing WP is split, and IRSA does not support the changes. In these circumstances, the WP is unable to recommend these changes be approved.
058-23
Rule E4.2
Reporting Committee: Racing Rules Committee

Other Committee:
Decision: Reject
The Committee understands there is no consensus within the community, the Radio Sailing WP is split, and IRSA does not support the changes. In these circumstances, the WP is unable to recommend these changes be approved.
059-23
Rule E5
Reporting Committee: Racing Rules Committee

Other Committee:
Decision: Reject
The Committee understands there is no consensus within the community, the Radio Sailing WP is split, and IRSA does not support the changes. In these circumstances, the WP is unable to recommend these changes be approved.
060-23
Rule E6.6
Reporting Committee: Racing Rules Committee

Other Committee:
Decision: Approve with the following amendment
Delete rule E6.6 (f) approved in October 2022 and Change E6.6 to read as follows:

E6.6       Redress

Rule 62.1(b) is changed to:

(b)         injury, physical damage or becoming disabled because of the action of

(1)          a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 and took the an appropriate penalty or was penalised, or

(2)          a vessel not racing that was required to keep clear or is determined to be at fault under the IRPCAS or a government right-of-way rule;

Rule 62.1 is changed to add:

(e)        external radio interference acknowledged by the race committee, or

E6.6 (f) becoming disabled because of the action of

(1)        a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 and took an appropriate penalty or was penalized, or of

(2)        a vessel not racing that was required to keep clear.

 

061-23
Rule E6.8
Reporting Committee: Racing Rules Committee

Other Committee:
Decision: Reject
The Committee understands there is no consensus within the community, the Radio Sailing WP is split, and IRSA does not support the changes. In these circumstances, the WP is unable to recommend these changes be approved.
062-23
Rule E7
Reporting Committee: Racing Rules Committee

Other Committee:
Decision: Reject
The Committee understands there is no consensus within the community, the Radio Sailing WP is split, and IRSA does not support the changes. In these circumstances, the WP is unable to recommend these changes be approved.
063-23
Rule E8
Reporting Committee: Racing Rules Committee

Other Committee:
Decision: Reject
The Committee would like IRSA to be asked to advise on edits for the final text of the RRS.

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John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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It was with much relief that I learnt that World Sailing Racing Rules Committee had rejected the submissions from the Croatian Sailing Federation. It is to be hoped that the intense lobbying, by IRSA, by national radio sailing organisations and by some race officials  who know radio sailing,  helped WS RRC to reach this decision. Certainly, the replies I received from my contacts within RRC were very positive.

Personally I fully support the proposal that was accepted:

E6.6 Redress

Rule 62.1(b) is changed to:

(b) injury, physical damage or becoming disabled because of the action of

(1) a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 and took the an appropriate penalty or was penalised, or

(2) a vessel not racing that was required to keep clear or is determined to be at fault under the IRPCAS or a government right-of-way rule;

Rule 62.1 is changed to add:

(e) external radio interference acknowledged by the race committee,

 

To be very clear this proposal changes RRS 62.1 ONLY when Appendix E applies. There is no suggestion that there will be any change in the main body of the rules.

 It makes RRS 62.1(b) easier to read, allows for redress as a result of vessels not involved in radio sailing (not an issue for small pond sailors but a real issue when racing on navigable waterways). It also makes provision for radio interference.

The other lesson learnt from this episode is that we cannot assume that all radio sailors agree with and accept some of the fundamental elements of how our sport is run. I would suggest that it is time to review many of our practices, to reaffirm our wish to maintain many of the key points, change anything that needs changing so that we do not have to go through this again.

Edited by Gordon W Davies
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