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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
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12860
Printed Date: 16 Dec 17 at 10:33pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


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 don’t 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 it’s 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 ‘protest’, on-water penalties, prompt and effective protest hearings) in operation, or is there a ‘no protest’ 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 don’t seriously disrupt club harmony:  if you propose changes, you need to bring as many people as possible along with you.

4.    Don’t start yelling ‘Cheats!’ and getting out the pitchforks and torches.  Don’t 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 don’t 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

http://www.sailingworld.com/from-the-exper...nce-201272.html" rel="nofollow - - sailingworld.com/from-the-exper...nce-201272.html

http://www.sailingworld.com/from-the-experts/rules/prescriptions-for-bumper-car-syndrome-1000061246.html" rel="nofollow - Who’s had successful experience in dealing with this sort of problem?

What works well and what doesn’t?




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

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.

Matt


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.




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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 18 Oct 17 at 10:50pm
Brass, as ever, seems to have most of the good ideas covered!

We had a load of trouble with this a few years ago with some members of the junior fleet at my club at the time. Aside from agreeing with the points made so far, I can perhaps contrast this advice with some observations about what doesn't work...

Beware the passive/aggressive approach! When people routinely break the rules don't just ignore it and hope it goes away, whilst inwardly seething. It just gets worse until it reaches a point when you kind of have to do something about it, at which point you are now trying to address a big problem rather than a small one.

In our case it all got brushed under the carpet due to a well intentioned desire not to fall out with everyone, until the rule breaking escalated to a point something had to be done. So the club had its first protest meeting for about 20 years which was handled badly and turned into a farce.

So all that achieved was to reinforce the belief that "anything goes" and if anything it got worse. For us the situation never really improved and was one reason why we switched clubs.

So yes, in hindsight I would suggest a more successful approach would be to try and nip things in the bud by small interventions whenever there is a problem; try to encourage peer pressure to lean on the habitual rule breakers so as to engender a culture where it isn't considered cool to break the rules, and go down the arbitration route as a less confrontational way of dealing with potential protests.

We did consider jury boats but I think it would have been a bad move. Club racing really should be self policing.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 18 Oct 17 at 11:58pm
It can be very hard to manage, I grew up doing turns (well, actually retiring, t'was before 'turns' were invented) if I hit an mark or failed to cross someone when on port tack etc, but I also grew up in the era of unlimited luffing etc. I also grew up in a club where rule observance was just the done thing (but so was doing duties as allocated so we only ended up doing a couple a year). It's different now and, after 30 years racing Raceboards and Div 1 I'm well aware that certain sections of the racing community treat the rules as something to ignore if nobody is watching and to try to get away with otherwise. When I first started racing Div 1 sailboards I used to re-round a mark if I touched it, even if nobody saw me, I was the only one who did and it was a long time before I could reconcile myself to levelling the playing field and stop doing that (then they changed the rules and allowed Raceboards t touch marks......). I always did (and still do) encourage the mindset that if you break a rule and go on to win you haven't really won..... I'm now, effectively, a newb racer at a club I was a member of 50 years ago and am back to re-rounding if I touch a mark (it just wouldn't feel right if I didn't).....

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep"


Posted By: GML
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 9:09am
Sam, the penalty for touching a mark is a one-turn penalty (a '360' as some would call it). You don't have to go around the mark again (and you are required to keep clear of other boats while taking your penalty, so doing your penalty around the mark is probably a bad idea).


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 10:15am
I grew up in large competitive fleets as part of the RYA youth development squads 25 years back and observing the rules was drummed into us. Now I sail on a small pond and in general rules seem to be quite well observed by most but there are some interesting dynamics that I have observed sailing in the handicap fleet or around 30 boats that regularly race. The Flying 15s seem to have their own rules...a common instance is that they pile into the windward mark on port and tack under the starboard boats using momentum to squeeze around the mark whilst head to wind. People seem to just accept this and luff a little as they know if they do not they will get a whack. Often the 15 then also hits the windward mark but no one does anything. Infringements between the 15s whilst in the handicap fleet also result in no action even if the rest of us yell at them.

I am fairly new at the club - well actually been there a few years but sailed at the back of the fleet with one of my kids as crew for fun but recently bought a singlehander and have surprised people that when I want too I can win races (am leading the Frostbite series currently). I do not want to rock too many boats as people are just coming to terms with me being a competitor and realising I do know my stuff but at the same time I would love advice on how to address these issues!


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 10:44am
H2, I'm guessing the club has a bit of a "no protests" culture?

It's difficult when everyone is there to have a relaxing bit of fun, you don't want to be seen as the one who's going all "sea lawyer" about it, but I think it is equally valid to feel that one's relaxing bit of fun is marred if others don't follow the rules.

I would suggest that the next time there is a clear incident, call "protest" then politely but insistently ask the offender to do turns, and keep talking to them until you get some form of acknowledgement (be it positive or negative).

If they sail on catch up with them an hour after the race in a calm and non-confrontational way and talk through the incident with the relevant rule to hand as reference. If you are patient about then you ought to be able to agree upon an interpretation of the rules, assuming you first agree on the facts.

If you don't agree on the facts try again on another day and if possible point the facts out at the time, eg "look I'm only 1 length from the mark - you can't have room" or whatever. Much 
harder to then use that as a point upon which to dismiss the conversation later.

With persistence you may change behaviour without ever taking it further and upsetting everyone. It may be that the behaviour only changes when you are involved but that's fine - it fixes the problem for you and it sets an example to anyone else for how to spread the word.

If it has no effect at all then arbitration meetings seem to be a good way forward and are about as non-confrontational as is feasible in the circumstances. Also, if you've already had two or three conversations about the same issue previously you will be much surer of the facts and better able to present your case successfully. At club level it is very likely the people adjudicating won't be terribly familiar with the rules so a clearly presented case with all the appropriate rules already applied is much, much more likely to result in a fair outcome...

...which is even more the case if and when something goes to an actual protest hearing. My experience of this is to avoid if at all possible as it is very unlikely a small club will be able to get a PC together that will run the process and apply and interpret the rules properly, despite all the best intentions.


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 10:58am
There are some persistant Rule 42 offenders who if I know are sailing and it is light winds would cause me not to bother to compete.  And others who regard Rule 42 only to apply if someone vocally objects.  In both cases, somehow feel that I am the villain.

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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 11:04am
One isolated success we had with a persistent rule 42 offender was when a few of us pre-arranged to chant "heeeeeaaaave!" in time with his rocking. It got to the stage where 5 or 6 were joining in and it was hilarious when he eventually worked out the connection with his actions.

It wasn't my idea but it worked, and it did so in a light hearted way. Wish I could come up with some other ideas as good!


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 11:24am
Hi oFFsake - I am not aware of any protests ever happening at the club (although as a young person I used to regularly be in protests on both sides or as a witness). I think you are right that the club wants people to have fun but at the same time there are plenty of good sailors and racing is close and competitive so I am also surprised that others just seem to be ok with the regular infringements. Will try your suggestions. I suspect that the people involved think they have water over the starboard boats at the windward mark. Either way, I am not keen to have a heavy FF come into my 50kg carbon hull!!!


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 11:55am
Originally posted by davidyacht

There are some persistant Rule 42 offenders who if I know are sailing and it is light winds would cause me not to bother to compete.  And others who regard Rule 42 only to apply if someone vocally objects.  In both cases, somehow feel that I am the villain.

The reason you feel like a villain is that the rule is nonsensical in the first place.  

If you are racing to a level where you would even care to entertain the notion of monitoring other people's observance of 'the rules', then it's almost certainly a race at the physical sport end of the recreational sailing spectrum.  

As such, preventing kinetic energy through physical exertion is rather counter-intuitive for something which is claiming to be a bonafide sport.  


Posted By: PeterG
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 12:14pm
GML,

Back in the days when we sailed Arks the penalty used to be rerounding - I think that was what Sam was referring to.


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Peter
Ex Cont 707
Laser 189635
DY 59


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 12:36pm
H2,

Another point to consider, in respect of your previous windward mark description, is whether the miscreants are actually aware that they are breaking the rules?

We often have courses where the windward mark has to be left to Starboard. Not ideal but the lie of the land often more or less dictates it. I have come across many sailors who genuinely believe (a) you can call for water on a boat on the opposite tack, and / or (b) starboard tackers are obliged to tack at the mark.

Perfect cases where a quiet word once the red mist has dissipated may pay dividends, especially if a diagram from a decent rules book is to hand to clearly illustrate the point.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 2:02pm
Originally posted by GML

Sam, the penalty for touching a mark is a one-turn penalty (a '360' as some would call it). You don't have to go around the mark again (and you are required to keep clear of other boats while taking your penalty, so doing your penalty around the mark is probably a bad idea).

Yes, I do know that but didn't want to complicate what was alread a slightly rambling post Wink


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep"


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 2:18pm
Originally posted by ohFFsake

One isolated success we had with a persistent rule 42 offender was when a few of us pre-arranged to chant "heeeeeaaaave!" in time with his rocking. It got to the stage where 5 or 6 were joining in and it was hilarious when he eventually worked out the connection with his actions.

It wasn't my idea but it worked, and it did so in a light hearted way. Wish I could come up with some other ideas as good!

I first saw that suggested 40 years ago in Eric Twiname's book "Start To Win" (still the best book for a mid fleet club sailor to read IMHO).


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep"


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 2:18pm
Originally posted by PeterG

GML,

Back in the days when we sailed Arks the penalty used to be rerounding - I think that was what Sam was referring to.

Indeed I was.... (see above)


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep"


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 19 Oct 17 at 5:43pm
I must have spent the first couple of years re-rounding touched marks, nobody told me about the 360 penalty in fact there are still the odd ex windsurfer who re rounds without thinking, mainly because the rule was long dropped in windsurfing and none of us spent a lot of time boning up on dinghy rules since they didn't seem to observe the ones they thought they had.

There's never been a protest despite some not really nice incidents that have been played to advantage, but 'they' are rule breaking dinghy sailors that don't know wtf they are doing anyway, difficult for us ex windsurfers to educate them. Having said that, the front runners are generally very good.

Down the lake it's different, they are very vocal, unless of course they are blatently in the wrong (Port Starboard) then it's some different set of rules for them and they are exempt from doing turns because they are in a slower boat I guess (Miracles).

So yes, rules do seem to be for guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools I fear, at least in both my local clubs races, I do however still do my turns if I knowingly breach them especially if kids are about, if they protest then I don't argue. I'll push it along with the best of them on the sea with R42, but can't down the lake and I need to know how to do it anyway so have considered it a class rule for EPS sailors to emulate the Finn, it's not easy pumping a dinghy, but I can at least do it now, but nowhere near as efficiently as a board.

As to they way it is, it's like the PY thing very difficult to enforce in a club political environment, but I have noticed the Laser fleet which is getting quite competitive, become a bit jiggy with overt rule flouting so it may improve in future.

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https://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk/collections/snowboards" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core UK kite website


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 9:01am
So, in windsurfing they had to scrap certain rules because everyone was cheating, yet you feel you have the moral high ground?

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 9:13am
A bit like letting certain dinghy classes fly a 'k' flag and ignore Rule 42 ;)

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep"


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 10:04am
When I am OOD if I see something I send boat over if they don't do their turns or they miss a mark


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 10:06am
Originally posted by 423zero

When I am OOD if I see something I send boat over if they don't do their turns or they miss a mark
Hope that aproach is only applied to informal races

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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 12:49pm
Originally posted by 423zero

When I am OOD if I see something I send boat over if they don't do their turns or they miss a mark
So you personally don't think sailing should be a self-policing game?

How do you ensure that every boat that breaks a rule gets the benefit of your invaluable advice?


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 1:15pm
Brass, sarcasm is uncalled for, if you have the manpower to referee a race where's the issue?


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 1:40pm
IMHO, Brass's sarcasm is entirely appropriate ;-)


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 3:58pm
Hmmm, and we wonder why sailing is in decline, rather than a reasonable articulate discussion about why you think I am wrong, you paraphrase Brass, where is your debate, please convince I am wrong.


Posted By: Noah
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 4:11pm
Sailing is a self-policing sport, unless jury boats are called for in the NoR / SI's. (And even then they're limited in what they can adjudicate on, aren't they?) 
When you see an incident, how far away from it are you? Are you sure you have seen everything? Brass's point, I think, is that 'sending a boat over' is inequitable to others where you haven't seen a potential infringement.


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Nick
http://www.fireballsailing.org.uk/register/boat_info.php?sail_no=14821" rel="nofollow - GBR 14821: Sijambo


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 4:29pm
Sounds fine to me,  if he's sending a boat over to inform newbs of the rules or to help tackle persistent offenders then why not. The guys at the front should know better and should police themselves. See them misbehaving and a protest should ensue.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep"


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 5:32pm
The RC is entitled to protest a boat it observes breaking a rule, but a sort of sub protest action come ad hoc semi umpiring feels a bit like a form of outside assistance unless there's something in the SIs, and I'm not all that comfortable with it.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 6:01pm
I suppose it depends on the context, at the club I'd say it's fine, open meetings and up, not so much...

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep"


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 6:15pm
When RO I once made the mistake of not finishing someone who left a mark to the wrong side ... my thinking was that he had not sailed the course; it was made quite clear to me that the RO only has the powers to disqualify someone without protest for starting infringements.

I have also seen monumental cockups caused by helpful safety boat crews, by proffering well meaning advice ref. courses, but not to everyone, which has resulted in races being lobbed.  

When I am RO I instruct safety boat drivers not to verbally communicate with racing boats (except in an emergency).

I don’t think any of this is detrimental to how the sport is perceived, better to apply the rules even handedly to all competitors.

The correct procedure would be for the RO to protest the offender, in reality I doubt if RO’s would protest in a club race situation unless the miscreant did some really blatant cheating.

There is nothing to stop competitors sportingly telling others when they have sailed the incorrect course, this is by no means unusual at our club.  

Unlike my usual cynical grumpiness, this response is really to protect volunteer ROs getting themselves into a mess by not following procedure, which might also result in perfectly good races being binned.  Don’t learn the hard way.


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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 20 Oct 17 at 8:11pm
Originally posted by Rupert

So, in windsurfing they had to scrap certain rules because everyone was cheating, yet you feel you have the moral high ground?

No, we took a pragmatic view about certain rules, notably hitting marks and pumping, the first because it really doesn't matter if you touch a mark as long as you leave it the correct side and the second because, as is still the case with dinghy sailing, rule 42 is unenforceable fair and evenly without a referee or jury boat on the water.

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https://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk/collections/snowboards" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core UK kite website


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 21 Oct 17 at 2:38pm
Originally posted by H2

I do not want to rock too many boats as people are just coming to terms with me being a competitor and realising I do know my stuff but at the same time I would love advice on how to address these issues!

In starting this thread, I did NOT want to spark a nationwide protesting mania, or any sort of rules observance crusade.

The rules do not oblige anybody to protest a boat.  Ever.  All the entitlements to protest in rule 60 are couched in terms of what a boat or a committee MAY do, not ‘shall’ or ‘must’ do.

A boat that thinks another boat broke a rule and should be penalised should protest promptly and should not rely onn anybody else (such as other boats or race officials) to do it for them.

Good reasons why a boat might protest another boat include:

  1. To gain or p0rotect her own position in a race or pointscore that is iimportant to her;
  2. With respect to another that she thinks is a serious or serial rule-breaker, to ‘teach that boat a lesson’;  or
  3.  She wants to demonstrate that she is not a ‘pushover’ to her competitors.

Good reasons why a boat may refrain from protesting (either by not hailing ‘protest’ at the first reasonable opportunity, or, having done that, by not following through and delivering a a written protest) include:

  1. The outcome of the protest will gain her  no significant advantage;
  2. On balance, she has better things to do with her time (whether those things may be preparation for further races, or merely socialising:  that’s up to her):  or even
  3. She wishes to avoid the risk that the protest hearing may conclude that she, herself, broke a rule decide to penalise her.

Nobody much likes a busybody, and unless it makes a difference to your own results or is a problem that worries you, it often makes a deal of ‘social sense’ not to protest.

That said, I would remind everyone that while it is always possible to hold back on a written protest, if you have failed to hail ‘protest’ and, if necessary display your red flag promptly, you have forfeited your opportunity to have your protest heard if you DO want to go ahead with it.  I happen to think that just the hail of ‘protest’ is an effective cue to a rule-breaking boat, and will often result in them taking applicable penalty turns when they otherwise might not.

What this thread was meant to be about was , once you HAVE decided that there is a rules observance problem with, hopefully’ a small group of sailors that does bother you, how best to go about tackling it.



Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 21 Oct 17 at 4:23pm
Well I said I’d come back to this topic - the answer is that the Fleet ,’Do your turns’ at a persistent offender does appear to have had an enduring affect.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 21 Oct 17 at 10:04pm
Brass,
Your last paragraph, I have known we have a problem with persistent rule breakers.
When I am OOD, rule infringements are rare, I believe because racers know I will call them.
I am not convinced yet, that on the water policing is a wrong or in any way detrimental to our sport.
Most people under 30 are so used to living in a structured world, they would probably be more comfortable racing in a controlled environment.
Judging by the amount of forum traffic regarding cheating, because that's what it is, it's a country wide problem.


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 1:47am
423zero,
What leads you to believe that rule infringements are rare when you are OOD? Serious question.

I believe on water policing can be a very good thing, but it is difficult to do well and fairly. Hence why jurors hunt in pairs ;-)

Coached racing is also a good thing, as long as all the sailors are aware of it, and are happy that a slight incline has been applied to the playing field, albeit for the greater good.

The rules give a very clear structure to how they should be applied and enforced. Summarily "calling out" sailors is not within that structure, for very good reason.

For example, at my old club our OOD set a very ambiguous course, and about half the fleet went one way and half the other. As the OOD was also the guy that updated the results, he decided that the half of the fleet who's interpretation differed from his original intention had not sailed the correct course and should be scored accordingly, so he published the results with them marked as "DSQ". He then went and sailed the next week and won the series, ahead of a boat that would have beaten him had they been recorded as a finisher in the previous week's race. Discuss...


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 8:22am
Originally posted by sargesail

Well I said I’d come back to this topic - the answer is that the Fleet ,’Do your turns’ at a persistent offender does appear to have had an enduring affect.
Great to see you got some good results without getting too officially heavy handed.


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 9:13am
Originally posted by ohFFsake

For example, at my old club our OOD set a very ambiguous course, and about half the fleet went one way and half the other. As the OOD was also the guy that updated the results, he decided that the half of the fleet who's interpretation differed from his original intention had not sailed the correct course and should be scored accordingly, so he published the results with them marked as "DSQ".
I don’t think that he is allowed to do that unless there is provision to allow him to do so in the SI’s.

Maybe we need Racing Rules of Sailing Lite which would allow all sorts of offences currently forbidden, which would see a major expansion of our sport.

I think golf is considering this, and 20/20 cricket.

I noticed that the Word Sailing Cup final in Japan had a 10 minute long medal race in the 49er’s ... no doubt also a ground breaking attempt to expand the sport.


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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 9:39am
I was once taken to a protest for missing a mark (a middle mark on a river where you had to tack out into the stream and back to go round it. Most boats seemed to think that meant sailing up the middle for a long way, whereas obviously the quickest route was to sail slightly past, tack out, round and back in. The OOD had missed this, and assumed I'd simply sailed up the bank. Luckily, the OOD has to protest, and I had a witness or 2, so it was kicked out. However, the manner in which the protest was heard meant I never bothered to return to that club.

So, no, there is a route in the rules for someone who has sailed the wrong course to be dealt with (though usually, and I've certainly done this, on being informed, a quick "oh bugger" and retirement from the race is the norm) and we should stick with that.



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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 9:55am
OhFFsake,
OOD is part of a team, 2 safety boats, 2 in each boat, hopefully looking around for incidents, plus rest of onshore team, sometimes a new member is also watching how to do duty, I am also counting racers, who will pass infringements to safety boat crew, if miscreant fails to do their turns, I will call them on it, that's it really.
When I am racing, loads of infringements, that are not called, I call incidents that directly affect me only.
This topic started by Brass, with about a dozen forumites posting, you have Davidyacht saying he will not race in light winds.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 9:59am
Originally posted by ohFFsake

For example, at my old club our OOD set a very ambiguous course, and about half the fleet went one way and half the other. As the OOD was also the guy that updated the results, he decided that the half of the fleet who's interpretation differed from his original intention had not sailed the correct course and should be scored accordingly, so he published the results with them marked as "DSQ". He then went and sailed the next week and won the series, ahead of a boat that would have beaten him had they been recorded as a finisher in the previous week's race. Discuss...

How did the OD set an ambiguous course? At most clubs marks are numbered (or lettered) and the course displayed on an board with colours denoting port or starboard. I've got it wrong on a few times over the years but my own fault not because the OD had set a dodgy course.....


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep"


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 10:06am
Originally posted by 423zero

Brass, sarcasm is uncalled for, if you have the manpower to referee a race where's the issue?
Originally posted by 423zero

Brass,
I am not convinced yet, that on the water policing is a wrong or in any way detrimental to our sport.
.
I apologise if I gave a rather terse reply.

I guess that I have a personal objection to being 'policed' by officials when I'm sailing, and you touched that nerve.

You have posed a question in good faith and I'll try to answer it.

On-water refereeing is not the way the game is played.  If you change that you change the game, IMHO for the worse.

Sailing is NOT a refereed game.  Some disciplines (Match Racing, Team Racing, Umpired Fleet Racing under Appendix Q) are umpired, but that is not the same as refereed.

Umpires, in general, decide on rules breaches when asked to do so by competitors (by making the protest signal prescribed in the relevant special rules or SI).

Unlike a referee in football or some other games, an umpire does not attempt to control the game (Match Racing Umpires Manual, Sect A1).

In passing, if race officials do control the game then they will be attracting liability for any harm or accidents that happen and will make rule 4 useless.

If you move towards a 'refereed' game, you will move competitors towards a 'play to the whistle' or 'if the referee doesn't see it it's not a foul' mentality which is exactly contrary to the RRS Basic Principle Sportsmanship and the Rules.

BASIC PRINCIPLES
SPORTSMANSHIP AND THE RULES
Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty, which may be to retire.

Race Officials, particularly Race Officers and Judges should be cautious and restrained about intervening in the 'play of the game'.   A good motto is 'leave the racing to the racers'.

No responsibility for enforcing the rules lies on any race official.

CASE 39
Sportsmanship and the Rules
Rule 60.2(a), Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or Rule 69 Action
A race committee is not required to protest a boat. The primary responsibility for enforcing the rules lies with the competitors.

World Sailing Race Management Policies, which are referenced as Part S of the Race Management Manual suggests limits on protests by race officers, effectively to serious breaches of the rules that may not have been observed by other competitors.

19. Race Committee Protests 19.1 Since the primary responsibility for protesting breaches of the rules rests with competitors, the race management team will not normally protest a boat.

19.2 The race management team may protest a boat in the following circumstances:
(a) A breach of a sailing instruction that may not be protested by another boat;
(b) An apparent breach of good sportsmanship (Rule 2);
(c) Failing to take a penalty after knowingly touching a mark, but not protesting another boat (does not apply for windsurfers);
(d) Failing to sail the course (Rule 28)  

The http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Racing/RacingInformation/RaceOfficials/Want%20to%20be%20a%20race%20official/Race%20Management%20Guide%202017.pdf" rel="nofollow - RYA Race Management Guide  is even more definitive:

9.6. RACE COMMITTEE PROTESTS
Since the primary responsibility for protesting breaches of the rules rests with competitors, the race committee will not normally protest a competitor. ... t is considered best practice to only protest a boat for a blatant breach of the rules that affects the fairness of a race such as failing to take a penalty after knowingly touching a mark or failing to sail the course. The race committee would also normally protest a competitor for a breach of good sportsmanship. 

Although how a race committee could validly form a view about the knowingness of a competitor touching a mark defeats me <g>.

Having talked about a few issues of principle, let's turn to the practicalities of umpired racing.

If race officials are going to intervene in the play of the game (and in some form, this may be a reasonable strategy), this absolutely has to be done with fairness, competence and consistency.

Umpiring is by far the most difficult and demanding race officials discipline.  While a rostered skipper or crew may be able to get away with performing a race officer's duties, not just anyone can umpire accurately and consistently.  It requires deliberate training and practice to get even half way competent.

Umpires need to umpire in pairs in suitable boats.  Experienced umpires can sometimes go one-out, but the umpiring process requires dialogue between two umpires, and this is more important than ever for less experienced umpires.

There need to be sufficient umpires and umpire boats.  At higher levels ONE Match Racing Match, with just two competing boats requires two umpire boats (Umpire and Wing) and four umpires.  Three-boat team racing, for just six boats, requires two umpire boats, and that is on a very small and predictable race course.

Umpire boats are not mark boats.  Until you abandon racing, Umpire boats are not safety boats.

If you're going to offer umpired racing, then consistency demands that every boat and every incident gets umpire coverage, so the two umpire boats to six competitors is just about the minimum you can do to ensure that nothing gets missed.

This adds up to a massive resource bill, which, I would suggest, is beyond the capacity of the average small club.

If you can't umpire properly, it's probably better not to try it at all.

What I would suggest, if the club/sailing committee/race committee decides that race official on-water action is essential to improve rules compliance is that the race committee should advise competitors that they will be observing rules compliance, and will protest boats for observed breaches.  And then do that.

To do this you need some rules-knowledgeable observers in boats around the race course.  What the race officer can see of incidents that aren't 'right under his nose' from an anchored race committee vessel is very limited:  I would expect any evidence in such circumstances to get ripped to shreds by any competent protestee in a protest hearing.


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 10:27am
Originally posted by 423zero

 you have Davidyacht saying he will not race in light winds.

Not quite, what I said was that I won’t sail in light winds at Open events if I expect certain persistent Rule 42 offenders to be there ... the combination of light winds and Rule 42 cheats makes an event not enjoyable.

To be fair to the Solo class they have identified this problem and have on water judging at most major events.

A long time ago I sailed Lasers ... when everyone had magnolia boats, I enjoyed sailing them, but packed up doing open meetings for exactly the same reasons.

For most of us, and for most of the time we can get around the course without infringing the rules, most of which centre on port and starboard, windward leeward and room.  Frankly, if you don’t know these basics you should not expect to be on the race course.h

IMO Rule 42 is so subject to interpretation that it is quite hard to police, however if you regularly sail in the same fleet you know who the offenders are, and a sarcastic comment usually does the job ... it is more of a problem at Opens and Nationals where you might not know the characters, but I guess at this level we should be hailing protest.

I continue to maintain that the RO has no right to go outside what the RRS, NOR and SI’s allow, if they don’t work for your club then change the SI’s ... though this could get hairy if you have a novice RO calling the shots ... guess you need to keep the running order after the results have been published Wink


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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 10:49am
Originally posted by ohFFsake

I believe on water policing can be a very good thing, but it is difficult to do well and fairly. Hence why jurors hunt in pairs ;-)

Coached racing is also a good thing, as long as all the sailors are aware of it, and are happy that a slight incline has been applied to the playing field, albeit for the greater good.
See my remarks about 'policing' elsewhere.

Racing is not training, training is not racing.

OK, I'm happy with Green Fleet, but I think you need to get the training wheels off as soon as possible.
Originally posted by ohFFsake

For example, at my old club our OOD set a very ambiguous course, and about half the fleet went one way and half the other. As the OOD was also the guy that updated the results, he decided that the half of the fleet who's interpretation differed from his original intention had not sailed the correct course and should be scored accordingly, so he published the results with them marked as "DSQ". He then went and sailed the next week and won the series, ahead of a boat that would have beaten him had they been recorded as a finisher in the previous week's race. Discuss...

OK, I'll discuss.

This is a blatent conflict of interest situation, which is almost inevitably going to arise in clubs which roster competitors as race officers.

The problem has been recognised (and a solution process provided) in the more formally structured context of protest committees by the provisions of [new] rule 63.4, and conflict of interest issues are dealt with in the RYA Code of Conduct for Race Officials, which should be brought to the notice of all club race officials

  http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Racing/RacingInformation/RaceOfficials/Resource%20Centre/Best%20Practice%20Guidelines%20Policies/RYA%20Guidance%20-%20Race%20Officials%20Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf" rel="nofollow - http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Racing/RacingInformation/RaceOfficials/Resource%20Centre/Best%20Practice%20Guidelines%20Policies/RYA%20Guidance%20-%20Race%20Officials%27%20Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf  

Scoring boats that may have not sailed the course DNF is an out and out improper action by the race committee.

CASE 128
If a boat makes an error under rule 28.2 or breaks rule 31 at the finishing line and finishes without correcting her error or taking a penalty, she must be scored points for the place in which she finished. She can only be penalized for breaking rule 28.2 or rule 31 if she is protested and the protest committee decides that she broke the rule.

Boats that were disadvantaged should have requested redress.

Back to the conflict of interest.  It was blatent and obvious.  The Club (and other clubs) should have foreseen the problem and managed the conflict.  Ways of managing the conflict would include:
  • segregation of duties between the race officer and the scorer (increasingly difficult with on-line finish recording and results);
  • second officer check, or committee/sub-committee process for checking results.
  • Try to roster competitors as RO for races not involving their boat (obviously impossible if the club has just one race day/course for all classes).
I'm reluctant to go to town on this unnamed RO.   All we have is a conflict of interest and a mistake.  It's an unfortunate feature of conflict of interest that when this happens, people tend to jump to conclusions.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 12:00pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

How did the OD set an ambiguous course?

If half the fleet got it wrong he must have done... Using a map of the marks that doesn't correspond with their actual locations can result in string rule problems for instance.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 12:13pm
Originally posted by Brass

 A good motto is 'leave the racing to the racers'.

An excellent example of this was at a Champs I attended decades ago. A member or members of the race team believed they saw a boat touch a mark and instituted a protest. Rerounding (as it was then) wouldn't have affected positions as the nearest boats were pretty spaced out. The class was pretty upset about this, and all boats that were vaguely in sight acted as witnesses to say they'd seen no touch.
In spite of this the PC elected to DSQ the boat. The resultant bad feeling was so great that the class elected to hold the prize giving in the dinghy park without club officials present and never returned to the venue.


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 12:16pm
Originally posted by Brass

 
Back to the conflict of interest.  It was blatent and obvious.  The Club (and other clubs) should have foreseen the problem and managed the conflict.  Ways of managing the conflict would include:
  • segregation of duties between the race officer and the scorer (increasingly difficult with on-line finish recording and results);
  • second officer check, or committee/sub-committee process for checking results.
  • Try to roster competitors as RO for races not involving their boat (obviously impossible if the club has just one race day/course for all classes).
I'm reluctant to go to town on this unnamed RO.   All we have is a conflict of interest and a mistake.  It's an unfortunate feature of conflict of interest that when this happens, people tend to jump to conclusions.

Could you not add to the list that there should be a system to check results and correct them if they are posted incorrectly ... I don’t know how you formalise that, but we have a form to post to correct incorrect results during regattas and an email link to the administrator to correct incorrectly posted series results.  Ultimately there is a route to seek redress through protest and to appeal.



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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 2:47pm
Davidyacht, apologies for misquote.
Been a very useful and informative thread, still not convinced self policing will work on it's own.
When were rules mainly formulated ?
2000's a different world to the 1950's.
Rule 19.2 effectively covers what I have been doing anyway.
Perhaps a balance between the two extremes, no control at all, to totally controlled racing.
Tailor response to match severity of problems, reducing response when appropriate.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 3:20pm
I agree with Brass when he says
I have a personal objection to being 'policed' by officials when I'm sailing,
.

I do think that self policing works in the vast majority of cases, accepted that the world is different but there has always been some who would break the rules if they though they could get away with it.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep"


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 3:22pm
Originally posted by Brass

It's an unfortunate feature of conflict of interest that when this happens, people tend to jump to conclusions.


Always worth remembering that although following conflict of interest regulations may have limited effect on restricting deliberate bad behaviour, they can be of considerable benefit in protecting the innocent from unjust accusations.


Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 5:38pm
Originally posted by ohFFsake

.

For example, at my old club our OOD set a very ambiguous course, and about half the fleet went one way and half the other. 

LOL

Same thing happened to us a few years ago.

The RO drew the course on the board and five minutes later he changed his mind and decided to reverse the course so without communication he altered the course board......of course half the racers saw the first diagram, half saw the second. It became clear at the five minute signal that something was amiss. The race started and there was chaos. If memory serves the RO abandoned the race and asked the safety boat to give instructions......I think most of us had a chuckle about it.

Re RO's administering justice. Surely as RO's we are too far away to see anything but the most obvious infringements?  I couldn't tell if someone has hit the mark unless I was sitting right on their transom and if you can't see everything (impossible) then best not set yourself up as judge and jury. It seem patronising and a whole kettle of fish, best treat them like adults.


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 9:50pm
Davidyacht, thanks for several thoughtful posts which haven't drawn much of a response.

Originally posted by davidyacht

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.

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

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

We usually think that big fleets are a good part of the game.

Anyone else?


Originally posted by davidyacht

When RO I once made the mistake of not finishing someone who left a mark to the wrong side ... my thinking was that he had not sailed the course; it was made quite clear to me that the RO only has the powers to disqualify someone without protest for starting infringements.

I have also seen monumental cockups caused by helpful safety boat crews, by proffering well meaning advice ref. courses, but not to everyone, which has resulted in races being lobbed.  

When I am RO I instruct safety boat drivers not to verbally communicate with racing boats (except in an emergency).

I don’t think any of this is detrimental to how the sport is perceived, better to apply the rules even handedly to all competitors.

The correct procedure would be for the RO to protest the offender, in reality I doubt if RO’s would protest in a club race situation unless the miscreant did some really blatant cheating.

There is nothing to stop competitors sportingly telling others when they have sailed the incorrect course, this is by no means unusual at our club.  

Unlike my usual cynical grumpiness, this response is really to protect volunteer ROs getting themselves into a mess by not following procedure, which might also result in perfectly good races being binned.  Don’t learn the hard way.

Seems like a pretty good way of looking at the role of the race officer.

Originally posted by davidyacht

There are some persistant Rule 42 offenders who if I know are sailing and it is light winds would cause me not to bother to compete.  And others who regard Rule 42 only to apply if someone vocally objects.  In both cases, somehow feel that I am the villain.

Rule 42 is probably the hardest rule in the book.

It's particularly hard for competitors to assemble enough evidence to win a protest, hence the use of on-water judging for rule 42 and Appendix P.  Even then rule 42 judging is very difficult.

Use of video might help.

What is needed is for rule 42 to be completely re-engineered.  I have no idea how this could be done.  I dream of the day when a genius engineer comes along and produces a more satisfactory workable solution.

Originally posted by davidyacht

Maybe we need Racing Rules of Sailing Lite which would allow all sorts of offences currently forbidden, which would see a major expansion of our sport.

What sort of breaches of the current rules do you think should be allowed?

Why do you think relaxing the rules would expand the sport?

I think golf is considering this, and 20/20 cricket.

I noticed that the Word Sailing Cup final in Japan had a 10 minute long medal race in the 49er’s ... no doubt also a ground breaking attempt to expand the sport.

While I don't recall the three mile beat in a 16 foot dinghy with much affection, a 10 minute race is nothing but a TV packaged highlights reel.


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 10:02pm
Originally posted by davidyacht

Originally posted by Brass

 
Back to the conflict of interest.  It was blatent and obvious.  The Club (and other clubs) should have foreseen the problem and managed the conflict.  Ways of managing the conflict would include:
  • segregation of duties between the race officer and the scorer (increasingly difficult with on-line finish recording and results);
  • second officer check, or committee/sub-committee process for checking results.
  • Try to roster competitors as RO for races not involving their boat (obviously impossible if the club has just one race day/course for all classes).
I'm reluctant to go to town on this unnamed RO.   All we have is a conflict of interest and a mistake.  It's an unfortunate feature of conflict of interest that when this happens, people tend to jump to conclusions.

Could you not add to the list that there should be a system to check results and correct them if they are posted incorrectly ... I don’t know how you formalise that, but we have a form to post to correct incorrect results during regattas and an email link to the administrator to correct incorrectly posted series results.  Ultimately there is a route to seek redress through protest and to appeal.
Well, I mentioned checking a couple of times, but what I think you have in mind is a process for competitor initiated review of scoring (without having to start off with a formal request for redress).

Experienced race committees and judges have been using a Scoring Review Request process to address problems with apparent scoring mistakes for some time, although it is not well documented.

Competitors may submit a Scoring Review Request form, showing details of the error which they think has been made, and sometimes containing short evidence statements from other competitors in support (such as surrounding competitors in an OCS issue, or finishing place issue).

The Scoring Review Request is passed on to the Race Officer who reviews the race committee records such as original finishing sheets and start and finish voice recordings, and makes any corrections to final scores necessary as required by rule 90.3( c ).

Review by RO works well.  I've seen half a dozen redress requests about OCS resolved in twenty minutes by the race officer playing the voice record tapes to the competitors, who then happily withdrew their requests.


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 10:09pm
Just to add to the limitations on Race Committee protests.

The  http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Racing/RacingInformation/RaceOfficials/Want%20to%20be%20a%20race%20official/Race%20Management%20Guide%202017.pdf" rel="nofollow - RYA Race Management Guide  is even more definitive:

9.6. RACE COMMITTEE PROTESTS
Since the primary responsibility for protesting breaches of the rules rests with competitors, the race committee will not normally protest a competitor. ... t is considered best practice to only protest a boat for a blatant breach of the rules that affects the fairness of a race such as failing to take a penalty after knowingly touching a mark or failing to sail the course. The race committee would also normally protest a competitor for a breach of good sportsmanship. 

Although how a race committee could validly form a view about the knowingness of a competitor touching a mark defeats me <g>.



Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 10:33pm
Maybe we need Racing Rules of Sailing Lite which would allow all sorts of offences currently forbidden, which would see a major expansion of our sport.

What sort of breaches of the current rules do you think should be allowed?

Why do you think relaxing the rules would expand the sport?

I was being ironic ... some posters have suggested that the rules are holding back the development of the sport, I don’t share that opinion

Part 2 Is 5 pages of 190 pages of the RRS and probably represents 99% of what the average weekend warrior needs to know and understand in order to get around the racecourse without endangering other competitors.

Perhaps this could be stripped out of the RRS and presented in a more visual manner (to be fair to the RYA I think they did this).

I think the rules work pretty well, the problems occur not because they don’t work, but because as in all walks of life there are people who don’t bother to learn them, or people choose to ignore them, or people choose to write their own.


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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 22 Oct 17 at 11:17pm
Originally posted by davidyacht

Maybe we need Racing Rules of Sailing Lite which would allow all sorts of offences currently forbidden, which would see a major expansion of our sport.

What sort of breaches of the current rules do you think should be allowed?

Why do you think relaxing the rules would expand the sport?

I was being ironic ... some posters have suggested that the rules are holding back the development of the sport, I don’t share that opinion
You would have thought that, as an expert in sarcasm, I would have noticed that.

Originally posted by davidyacht

Part 2 Is 5 pages of 190 pages of the RRS and probably represents 99% of what the average weekend warrior needs to know and understand in order to get around the racecourse without endangering other competitors.

Perhaps this could be stripped out of the RRS and presented in a more visual manner (to be fair to the RYA I think they did this).
The Part 2 rules, in particular are written in plain language.  I don't think abbreviated versions of the rules themselves would be helpful.

There are any number of charts and dot point lists available to assist people to learn and remember the Part 2 rules.

I don't think that gutting Part 2 out of  the RRS would particularly help:  after all it's the second part:  I don't think you would want people NOT to look at Part 1 Fundamental Rules.
Originally posted by davidyacht

I think the rules work pretty well, the problems occur not because they don’t work, but because as in all walks of life there are people who don’t bother to learn them, or people choose to ignore them, or people choose to write their own.

Just so.


Posted By: zippyRN
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 1:51am
Originally posted by Brass

<snip>

Although how a race committee could validly form a view about the knowingness of a competitor touching a mark defeats me <g>.



other than marks in clear view of the committee boat  and   if  the  rescue provision is  working  properly and effectively those in clear view of a  rescue boat ?


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 2:38am
Originally posted by zippyRN


Originally posted by Brass

<snip>
Although how a race committee could validly form a view about the knowingness of a competitor touching a mark defeats me <g>.

other than marks in clear view of the committee boat  and   if  the  rescue provision is  working  properly and effectively those in clear view of a  rescue boat ?

Sense of sight can tell you nothing about the mental state (knowingness) of a competitor.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 8:38am
There are occasions where a boat "may" have touched a mark, or "maybe" it was just their bow wave moving it? In these cases, I think a race committee would be unwise to intervene. But there are other cases where the boat simply runs the mark down, or rolls round it. If the boat doesn't do anything in those situations, and the only witness is the safety boat driver watching the gybe mark, should there be a protest? And if there is only one witness, and the sailor says that he didn't hit it, should the protest be upheld?

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 10:34am
I have seen nothing to convince me on the water policing is wrong, 19.2 & 9.6 clearly state what RC can protest about.
The ' Mr Godfrey ' approach isn't working.
I stated in a earlier post how infringements were observed and dealt with, RC and two safety boats with two crew and racers themselves, this combined effort appears to work, racers protest infringements RC also protest infrigements, RC then adjudicate.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 11:00am
You can't be prosecuter and judge. The RC can protest, but a protest committee entirely separate must decide the outcome.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 11:18am
wot he said ^


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 11:24am
Agreed.
No need for protest committee, inform miscreant boat that they have broken a rule and need to do penalty, only if they disagree do you need to recourse to a protest committee.


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 11:31am
I disagree. You are just setting the wrong example, as per Brass's comprehensive reply above.

New sailors at your events will gain the impression that sailing is a referee'd sport, and the general ethos will shift further towards one where people follow the rules only when they can see they are being observed.

On the water judging has its place in the sport, but it's a very specific niche. The whole essence of the sport is that it is self policing, particularly at club fleet level.

You may feel you have sufficient expert resource to police to this level and retain a level playing field. I don't believe you have, and I certainly don't think our club has!

As an aside, if you believe you have observed a "miscreant" sailor touch a mark (for instance), and you send a boat over, how would the conversation then typically run?


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 12:26pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Agreed.
No need for protest committee, inform miscreant boat that they have broken a rule and need to do penalty, only if they disagree do you need to recourse to a protest committee.

Which sounds like an attempt at an amended Arbitration Process.  


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 3:41pm
OhFFsake and sargesail,
I may not be the one who spotted boats error, however, if safety boat radios a protest that they have seen or a racer has reported to them, I will instruct safety boat to go and inform culprit they have been protested, would they at their earliest opportunity do their turns, if they dispute this it will have to go to a protest hearing.
Where in this statement is their an attempt to change Arbitration process ?


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 3:57pm
423 Zero.  I'm now very confused about what you are saying takes place.  Is this boat on boat?  Or just confined to sailing the course/touching the mark?

At 1124 you appear to suggest that the RC is offering an opinion on whether a boat infringed and then inviting it do to a turn/turns, correct its course or retire. Which sound a lot like the outcome of arbitration...if not the process to get there.


Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 3:59pm
Originally posted by 423zero

if safety boat radios a protest that they have seen or a racer has reported to them, I will instruct safety boat to go and inform culprit they have been protested

Is this not a distraction from the safety boats prime duty?


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 4:07pm
Originally posted by transient

Originally posted by 423zero

if safety boat radios a protest that they have seen or a racer has reported to them, I will instruct safety boat to go and inform culprit they have been protested

Is this not a distraction from the safety boats prime duty?
Presumably if it's windy enough for the safety boats to be occupied in their primary duty, then anything goes? LOL


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 4:30pm
Sargesail,
Confined to touching a Mark or incorrect course, anything else is up to racers and protest committee.


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 4:53pm
Ah must be your original use of 'turns,' implying boat on boat rather than mark touch which confused me:

'When I am OOD if I see something I send boat over if they don't do their turns or they miss a mark'

For me thought that's really as bad.  The whole judgement on mark hitting thing, and the complications of being compelled to do so by a keep clear boat's actions....mean that I think this is just wrong.


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 23 Oct 17 at 11:12pm
Originally posted by Rupert

There are occasions where a boat "may" have touched a mark, or "maybe" it was just their bow wave moving it? In these cases, I think a race committee would be unwise to intervene.

I strongly agree.

But there are other cases where the boat simply runs the mark down, or rolls round it. If the boat doesn't do anything in those situations, and the only witness is the safety boat driver watching the gybe mark, should there be a protest?

There used to be a Q&A that talked about a rules breach that it was possible that no other boat saw (so that it was not possible for a boat to protest), as being a case that justified a race committee protest.  Maybe this would be one of those cases.

And if there is only one witness, and the sailor says that he didn't hit it, should the protest be upheld?

That would depend on the quality, content and overall credibility of the evidence.

I'd be expecting the protestee to be asking some probing questions about where the mark-boat was positioned, how far it was from the mark, did the mark-boat have a clear sight-line into the gap, how long the mark-boat observed the protestee boat, what exactly the mark-boat saw etc etc.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 24 Oct 17 at 7:58am
Thanks Brass.

-------------
Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 24 Oct 17 at 9:54am
Originally posted by Brass

Originally posted by Rupert

But there are other cases where the boat simply runs the mark down, or rolls round it. If the boat doesn't do anything in those situations, and the only witness is the safety boat driver watching the gybe mark, should there be a protest?

There used to be a Q&A that talked about a rules breach that it was possible that no other boat saw (so that it was not possible for a boat to protest), as being a case that justified a race committee protest.  Maybe this would be one of those cases.
I still have the issue that this seems fundamentally unfair, for a reason I touched on in an earlier post.

The RC or a safety boat crew "may" see something another boat may not see, but that's not their primary duty - it's just something they may happen to do during a quiet moment.

They both have clearly defined roles, and it is reasonable to assume that most of the time they will be busy performing those duties and not observing the conduct of the boats racing. So boat A touches the mark and is penalised, but boats B and C get away with it as the RO was busy doing his primary job.

A jury boat is different - they have no other purpose and can devote their full attention to being as fair and even handed as possible.

And that's before we even consider the detrimental effect of safety crews becoming pre-occupied with initiating protests and visiting "miscreants" when they really ought to be keeping watch for sailors requiring assistance...?


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 24 Oct 17 at 10:31pm

Various posts by 423zero raise two different issues:

Whether sailing racing should be ‘policed’ or ‘controlled’ by race officials;  and

Whether some practices described by 423zero are good practices.

I’d like to sum up the first issue in this post, then address the second in another post.

Sailing is often proudly said to be a self-policing sport.

43zero has posted

Originally posted by 423zero

…still not convinced self policing will work on it's own. ,,,

Originally posted by 423zero

…I have seen nothing to convince me on the water policing is wrong, ,,,

I don’t know whether this will convince 423zero, who seems determined not to be convinced, but I’ll have a go.

I have pointed out that:

  • According to the rules, cases, manuals and policies that govern the sport, sailing is not a ‘refereed’ game where officials control the game.  Even in the umpired disciplines (Match Racing, Team Racing, Umpired Fleet Racing), the umpiring process normally requires competitors, to ask the umpires for a decision.
  • If you change the game to a ‘refereed’ or ‘policed’ game, you change the game itself, IMHO for the worse. If you move towards a 'refereed' game, you will move competitors towards a 'play to the whistle' or 'if the referee doesn't see it it's not a foul' mentality which is exactly contrary to the RRS Basic Principle Sportsmanship and the Rules.
  • If race officials do exercise authority to control the game then they will be attracting liability for any harm or accidents that happen and will make rule 4 useless.
  • Race officials are not responsible for enforcing the rules.  The primary responsibility for enforcing the rules lies with the competitors.
  • Race management policies and guidance suggest that the race officials should not normally protest a competitor, and should only protest a boat for a blatant breach of the rules that affects the fairness of a race.

I just find the notion of ‘policing’ the game I love by officials repugnant,  It is not necessary for the game to be played for it to be ‘controlled’ by officials.  That’s how it’s designed.

Admittedly, this whole issue arose in the context of exceptional measures that might be taken in response to observed significant disregard of the rules by groups of competitors.  It may be that an organising authority or race committee might decide that intervention by race officials was necessary and justified.  This might include the race committee exercising its power to protest competitors somewhat more widely than just for blatant breaches affecting fairness.  I don’t think this extends to:

  • Action, such as disqualifying boats, berating competitors or directing them to take on-water penalties:  the power of the race committee is to protest a boat:  no more;
  • Unilateral action by one race officer if it is not supported by a clear decision or direction by the organising authority or race committee.

In fairness, 423zero has also said

Originally posted by 423zero

…Perhaps a balance between the two extremes, no control at all, to totally controlled racing.

Tailor response to match severity of problems, reducing response when appropriate. 

I would certainly agree that a balanced and tailored response to rules non-compliance is sensible, and very much agree that it should be reduced when the problem is solved.



Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 24 Oct 17 at 11:11pm

423zero has described, in various posts, actions he or she takes to promote rules observance when acting as a race officer.  At first blush these look like pretty authoritarian and intrusive practices.

Originally posted by 423zero

When I am OOD if I see something I send boat over if they don't do their turns or they miss a mark

Originally posted by 423zero

…racers, who will pass infringements to safety boat crew, if miscreant fails to do their turns, I will call them on it

Originally posted by 423zero

…  if safety boat radios a protest that they have seen or a racer has reported to them, I will instruct safety boat to go and inform culprit they have been protested, would they at their earliest opportunity do their turns, if they dispute this it will have to go to a protest hearing.

It’s not quite clear what is meant by ‘I will call them on it’.  If this means nothing more than that a race official will tell a boat that the race committee intends to protest the boat, this is unexceptionable:  that’s what the race committee is entitled to do in accordance with rule 60.2.

But 423zero goes on to say

I will instruct safety boat to go and inform culprit they have been protested, would they at their earliest opportunity do their turns, if they dispute this it will have to go to a protest hearing.

As described, there is necessarily some delay between the race officer instructing the safety boat and the invitation ‘at their earliest opportunity do their turns’.

As a result of this delay, any turns taken  by a boat will not be a turns penalty taken in accordance with rule 44.2, which requires the penalty to be taken ‘as soon after the incident as possible’.

So the race officer is actually ‘plea-bargaining’ with the competitor (in the middle of the race), offering not to withhold a protest if the competitor takes turns that do not comply with rule 44.2.

Race officers have no business:

  • Telling competitors how to race their race, whether to take penalty turns etc:  and
  • Definitely not to be bargaining with competitors.

423zero later said

Originally posted by 423zero

Confined to touching a Mark or incorrect course, anything else is up to racers and protest committee.

This may be so, but it is quite inconsistent with what was described previously.

And I might point out that the penalty for touching a mark is a one turn penalty, not ‘turns’, and a turns penalty is not applicable for a breach of rule 28.

423zero has also posted about the process

Originally posted by 423zero

…racers protest infringements RC also protest infrigements, RC then adjudicate.

Originally posted by 423zero

No need for protest committee, inform miscreant boat that they have broken a rule and need to do penalty, only if they disagree do you need to recourse to a protest committee.

As others have pointed out, it is no part of the race committee’s role to adjudicate protests.  That is the job of an independent protest committee.

This is pretty outrageous.  People need to read Part 5 a bit more carefully.



Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 24 Oct 17 at 11:17pm
Originally posted by sargesail

Originally posted by 423zero

Agreed.
No need for protest committee, inform miscreant boat that they have broken a rule and need to do penalty, only if they disagree do you need to recourse to a protest committee.

Which sounds like an attempt at an amended Arbitration Process.  
Sorry, that's nothing like an arbitration.

In an arbitration, each side tells their story, then the arbitrator expresses an opinion about whether a boat broke a rule.

Having a race officer deciding whether a boat broke a rule without hearing anything from either party is arbitrary but not arbitration.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 7:39am
Nice breakdown, should add, I have only informed racers about touching marks and wrong course.


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 29 Oct 17 at 8:50am
One last issue that I think deserves tidying up.

In an early post in this thread I hinted that rules enforcement action on the water by the RC, by protesting boats or other means was necessarily inconsistent because if race committee officials are performing their primary tasks of conducting racing and attending to safety, they cannot possibly observe and detect all or even most rules breaches.

Other posters have picked up on the possible unfairness of this.

In the normal case, where the OA/race committee has NOT decided that race committee actin is necessary to improve rules observance I think this lack of consistency and comprehensiveness is a good reason for the race committee to avoid protesting boats for on-water breaches.  Exceptions may be where a blatant breach occurs 'right under the nose' of the race committee (except, of course where the breach is clearly seen by another competitor who chooses not to protest, in which case the race committee is well advised to 'leave the racing to the racers').

OTOH, if the OA/race committee HAS decided that race committee actin by protesting boats or otherwise is appropriate to deal with problems of rules non-compliance, one would like to think that the potential inconsistency in observing some, but not other breaches will have been considered by the OA/race committee in reaching this decision.

The problem will, to some extent, be ameliorated by instructions given to race committee officials to be observant for rules breaches, which may be expected to make the coverage at least somewhat more comprehensive.

On balance, if there is a deliberate by the OA/race committee to address rules compliance by instruction race officials to protest boat for breaking rules on the water, it may well be considered that any unfairness arising from inconsistency and lack of coverage is balanced up by the need to address the rules non-compliance problem.



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