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Rules Observance

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Racing Rules
Forum Discription: Discuss the rules and your interpretations here
Printed Date: 17 Oct 17 at 7:08am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Rules Observance
Posted By: Brass
Subject: Rules Observance
Date Posted: 22 Sep 17 at 12:50am

What can you do if it seems that there are some of your competitors who donít have a very high regard for sportsmanship and fair play, and are breaking rules?

What if his seems to be concentrated around certain specific parents or coaches?

Here are some preliminary things I suggest, before going too much further:

1.    Validate your opinion, make sure that itís not you that are the one out of step:  ask around among other competitors and see if others share your views, if so identify people who may be willing to cooperated in tackling the problem;

2.    Have a think about whether you are racing in an environment that encourages rules observance:

         When was the last time the club held a rules session?

         Do club training and coaching programs emphasise requirements of sportsmanship and fair play (and not actually teach rule-breaking, such as illegal propulsion)?

         Is there a healthy level of the protest process (hailing Ďprotestí, on-water penalties, prompt and effective protest hearings) in operation, or is there a Ďno protestí culture in place?

         Has the club implemented the graduated alternatives to full protest process in the RRS Appendix T or RYA Rules Disputes Guidelines (Advisory Hearings, Post Race/Exoneration Penalty, Arbitration)?

3.    Be mindful that you donít seriously disrupt club harmony:  if you propose changes, you need to bring as many people as possible along with you.

4.    Donít start yelling ĎCheats!í and getting out the pitchforks and torches.  Donít be too quick to reach for rule 2 or rule 69.  In my opinion, steady consistent enforcement (by the protest process) of the normal racing rules will bring most people around, even if they donít initially hold the rules in high regard.  Saying 'Everyone can afford to improve their rules compliance' is a lot pleasanter than saying 'You, you and you need to improve your rules compliance'.

Here are two articles by Dick Rose that may be helpful" rel="nofollow - -" rel="nofollow - Whoís had successful experience in dealing with this sort of problem?

What works well and what doesnít?

Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 22 Sep 17 at 1:08pm

Some really interesting food for thought there.  I like the two Dick Rose articles you cite too.  Last weekend saw a version of one of his suggestions used, with a large proportion of the fleet yelling, 'do your turns' at a persistent offendor.  It will be interesting to see if it has made any difference to behaviour this weekend.  I'll let you know.


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 22 Sep 17 at 2:41pm
As I see it, most of the unresolved rule infractions I see relate to; crashing in on port at the windward mark in front of starboard tackers; dubious calls for room at the leeward mark, often kinetically assisted and kinetics.  Most of the other stuff is simple port and starboard and windward leeward which most of us can understand and manage.  

Generally offenders get away with it because at the pressure points on the course you simply have too much going on in your boat to worry about others, and frankly the red mist is counter productive to the big picture.

The reaching finish from a leeward mark, that seems to be derigeur puts a huge pressure on pumpers, rockers and oochers to do their stuff to secure inside berth at the leeward mark ... this might work at the Olympics with 25 boats and lots of umpire boats, but is not a lot of fun in a big fleet if you are trying to be legal, when those around you are not.  This is probably why I will not attend any more championships.

Perhaps scaling the length of legs to the size of the fleet should be considered, even if this means longer races. 

Umpire boats have a big impact for the good, and it is interesting how some front runners disappear into mediocrity if an Umpire boat is on the course.

Racing in flights might also result in better rule observance and hence greater enjoyment.

Another aspect is that there are sailors who think that anything is fair game unless they hear the word "Protest", in a club fleet you get to know who they are, at a championship it may be less easy.

Our club fleet had a bit of a Rule 42 problem, particularly going through light patches in the wind, the giveaway being standing up in the boat; peer pressure has done a lot to reduce this; I think that we took whistles out on the water and blew them when we saw an infraction.  

Also we got a rules guru to come down and talk to the club, although the worse offenders never turned up to the talk.

Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth

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