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Obstructed course, race abandon?

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Racing Rules
Forum Discription: Discuss the rules and your interpretations here
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12783
Printed Date: 17 Oct 17 at 3:58pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Obstructed course, race abandon?
Posted By: ASok
Subject: Obstructed course, race abandon?
Date Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 12:44pm
Recent event at the club for discussion and advice:

Sailing on the river, mixed fleet in a club pursuit race. One boat manages to get caught out in a gust and capsizes over a mark and gets in a real mess - boat and mark completely tangled. A couple of boats manage to scoot round the tangle and continue racing, but others are stuck because there is insufficient room to pass due to the presence of the bank.

In the end it was all a mess and the race was abandoned with people taking an early trip to the clubhouse. However, a few boats could have finished.

My questions are - should this race have been abandoned? If not, how can you progress with the course blocked? Is there a claim do those leading boats have for redress or points for that race?

Just keen to learn from this one.

Thanks. 



Replies:
Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 1:20pm
An RC may abandon a race "for any other reason directly affecting ... the fairness of the competition" (RRS 32.1d) so abandoning the race was not wrong.

Redress doesn't seem to be available. These are the 4 reasons redress may be granted:


(a) an improper action or omission of the race committee, protest
committee, organizing authority or technical committee for the
event, but not by a protest committee decision when the boat
was a party to the hearing;
(b) injury or physical damage because of the action of a boat that
was breaking a rule of Part 2 or of a vessel not racing that was
required to keep clear;
(c) giving help (except to herself or her crew) in compliance with
rule 1.1; or
(d) an action of a boat, or a member of her crew, that resulted in a
penalty under rule 2 or a penalty or warning under rule 69.2(h).


It seems to me that, with redress unavailable the choice the RC had was letting the race stand or abandoning. By the sounds of it more innocent parties would have been disadvantaged by letting the race stand, so its hard to say the RC got it definitively wrong.




Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 1:25pm
Rule 32 provides as follows (significant bits bolded):

32 SHORTENING OR ABANDONING AFTER THE START
32.1 After the starting signal, the race committee may shorten the course (display flag S with two sounds) or abandon the race (display flag N, N over H, or N over A, with three sounds),
(a) because of foul weather,
(b) because of insufficient wind making it unlikely that any boat will finish within the time limit,
(c) because a mark is missing or out of position, or
(d) for any other reason directly affecting the safety or fairness of the competition.
In addition, the race committee may shorten the course so that other scheduled races can be sailed, or abandon the race because of an error in the starting procedure. However, after one boat has sailed the course and finished within the time limit, if any, the race committee shall not abandon the race without considering the consequences for all boats in the race or series.

Clearly, if it is not physically possible for some boats to sail the course prescribed in the SI because it is obstructed:
  1. that is a reason directly affecting the fairness of the competition;  and
  2. it is not fair that boats that have managed to pass the mark before it became obstructed should receive a favourable result while other boats do not, so in consideration of consequences for all boats in the race, abandoning the race is a fair action.
Yes the race committee should abandon the race.

No, no score should be recorded for boats that finished if the race is abandoned.


Posted By: ClubRacer
Date Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 5:05pm
Had the race not have been abandoned could you claim redress on the basis you weren't able to finish or had the obstruction cleared enough for you to finish but it seriously affects your score?If so under what rule


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 10:58pm
Originally posted by ClubRacer

Had the race not have been abandoned could you claim redress on the basis you weren't able to finish or had the obstruction cleared enough for you to finish but it seriously affects your score?If so under what rule

Yes.

Rule 62.1( a ).

The race committee omitted to either replace the mark with a mark that it was possible to round or to abandon the race.

Consider RYA Case RYA 1989/10

Redress may be given for a race committee's failure to
provide suitably equipped marks. In cases involving
errors by the race committee, it is a good principle that
any doubts be resolved in favour of the competitor.


Posted By: ASok
Date Posted: 10 Jul 17 at 5:30pm
Thanks all. Useful points as ever to reflect on. Looks like the call to abandon was the right thing to do. Plenty of races left in that series, so no-one should feel too hard done by. 



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