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Safety SIs in Conflict with Rule 4 - No hearing

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sargesail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Safety SIs in Conflict with Rule 4 - No hearing
    Posted: 31 May 15 at 11:49pm
So here we go again....

From some SIs I'm reading:

'If deemed necessary a competitor may be ordered to abandon a boat and board a patrol vessel and all instruction given by the patrol boats shall be obeyed at all times. Failure to obey safety instructions will be grounds for disqualification from the Championships. This alters rule 63.1'

I assume the SI has been poorly drafted in that 63.1 is the one that says no DSQ without a hearing:

'A boat or competitor shall not be penalized without a protest hearing, except as provided in rules 30.2, 30.3, 69, A5 and P2.'

And that 'without a protest hearing' has been omitted.

So for Brass, Gordon and the other rules Gurus out there - do you think that such a no hearing DSQ is enforceable without the phrase?

And what about the principle?  My views are on record - I'm anti the enforced retirement or even direction from the Patrol Boat, for all sorts of reasons, not least the clash with Fundemental Rule 4.  Does anyone think it's OK not to at least let a boat make its case in a hearing?


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Brass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 15 at 3:15am
Damn right it's poorly drafted.

Any time you see a button-up boots word like 'deemed' in a SI, you can be pretty sure that it's been written by somebody who thinks they are a lawyer but aren't.

Likewise every use of the passive voice conceals a fact.

'Deemed'  by who?

'ordered' by who?

Note that there are myriad stories about over-enthusiastic patrol boat crews interfering with racing in ways that were not authorised or approved of by the Race Officer or the Race Committee.

What might be the difference between an 'order', an 'instruction', a 'request' or an 'invitation"?

How can a 'patrol boat' give an instruction?

Given that the RRS 'Definitions that aren't listed in Definitions' (Introduction;  Terminology) defines 'boat' to mean a sailboat and the crew on board, is a motorboat a 'patrol boat'?

What is the difference between a 'safety instruction' and any other 'instruction', or an 'order to abandon a boat'?

Bearing in mind that, under the RRS, the only offence that can get a boat disqualified from more than one race is gross misconduct under rule 69, is it really the intention of the race committee that failure to obey an instruction (even an unreasonable instruction) should attract such a severe penalty?

Who might be the person or authority that imposes disqualification?

Given that 'disqualification from the Championships' implies the exclusion of a competitor and the cancellation of an entry after the start of the first race, the SI appears to contradict rule 76.1, which it does not identify as being changed, and therefore does not validly change.

I find the tone and thrust of the SI repugnant.

I note that the RYA Misconduct Reference Guide for Officials identifies 'Deliberately disobeying the reasonable instructions of officials' as misconduct subject to Level 0 to 5 penalisation (after a rule 69 hearing).  I consider this absolutely adequate.

Given that the SI does not expressly say that a penalty may be applied without a hearing (even though this might be inferred from the reference to rule 63.1), and that it appears to contravene rule 76.1, if a competitor that had been disqualified without a hearing, purportedly under this rule requested redress, I would be inclined to construe the SI as merely repeating the obvious that a competitor may be disqualified for breach of a SI, but that this can only be done by a protest committee in a hearing of a valid protest.

I might look pretty carefully at the circumstances of the incident, and if I could see evidence of 'deliberate disobeying instructions that were reasonable', then make the incident the subject of a rule 69 hearing at the protest committee's discretion.

There's one general principle that can be deduced from the RRS protests and penalisation provisions:
  • If an incident is going to depend on simple facts immediately observable by the race committee (was a boat over the starting line at the starting signal or was it not?  Was a rating certificate submitted with an entry or was it not?), by all means give a power to penalise to the race committee;
  • If an incident is going to depend on complex or contestable fact finding (was in instruction given?  was it comprehensible?  was it reasonable?  was it audible/received by the competitor?) then send the incident to the protest committee which is organised and experienced for fact finding, while the race committee is not.


Edited by Brass - 01 Jun 15 at 4:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote blueboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 15 at 5:39pm
Originally posted by sargesail

And what about the principle?  My views are on record - I'm anti the enforced retirement or even direction from the Patrol Boat, for all sorts of reasons, not least the clash with Fundemental Rule 4.  Does anyone think it's OK not to at least let a boat make its case in a hearing?


No I don't think DSQ without hearing is OK.

Driving a safety boat in a Youth Worlds, I have experienced a young man lowering his wetsuit and literally pissing in my general direction when given a safety direction (to do with routing between race area and club). Undoubtedly he thought I was being a jobs worth and in the prevailing conditions I had a certain sympathy but the club had issued instructions and I was supposed to enforce it.

In some ways it was quite amusing and I certainly wasn't going to make a rule 69 matter out of it but a framing of the rules that make safety directions carry more weight would have my support, especially at a junior and youth level.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 15 at 6:16pm
In many ways a 69 is the *best* way to deal with stupid behaviour, since its the only rule under which you can find someone at fault and not DSQ them...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 15 at 11:18pm
Originally posted by blueboy

 a framing of the rules that make safety directions carry more weight would have my support, especially at a junior and youth level.


Level 5 Disqualify the boat or exclude competitor from event and recommend further action by the RYA 

How much more 'weight' do you want?


However, the hoonish behavior you describe below absolutely merited a rule 69 report by you to the jury

Originally posted by blueboy

 Driving a safety boat in a Youth Worlds, I have experienced a young man lowering his wetsuit and literally pissing in my general direction when given a safety direction (to do with routing between race area and club). Undoubtedly he thought I was being a jobs worth and in the prevailing conditions I had a certain sympathy but the club had issued instructions and I was supposed to enforce it. 


Edited by Brass - 01 Jun 15 at 11:47pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote blueboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 15 at 12:07pm
"Hoonish" is a new word for me so thanks for that.

Rule 69 would have been disproportionate IMO. Youth. At his age I think I'd have ignored the instruction too. Waving my willy at an official however has not been my style at any point in my life.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 15 at 12:20pm
Hoon is australian for something approaching yob.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 15 at 1:22pm
Originally posted by blueboy

"Hoonish" is a new word for me so thanks for that.

Rule 69 would have been disproportionate IMO. Youth. At his age I think I'd have ignored the instruction too. Waving my willy at an official however has not been my style at any point in my life.

Always happy to introduce new words and concepts.

I agree that the disobeying might have been a bit trivial, but obscene disrespectful gesture aimed at a race official, including indecent exposure, which, even in the colonies is a police offence is right there in rule 69 territory.

As JimC has pointed out, rule 69 is the most proportionate of all the rules in the book:  it's the only rule that provides a range of sanctions from warning to multi-race/event exclusions.

And if you had any doubt then the Jury consideration of whether to proceed to a hearing or not is an excellent 'filter'.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 15 at 7:12pm
Are you sure he hadn't sailed away from the fleet specifically to pee?
I feel a sense of humour is essential, particularly at youth events and you were right not to make an issue of it.

Going back the OP, how does any of this work with R4?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 15 at 11:00pm


Originally posted by piglet

Are you sure he hadn't sailed away from the fleet specifically to pee? 
I feel a sense of humour is essential, particularly at youth events and you were right not to make an issue of it. 

Blueboy made it clear that he was in no doubt about the intended dissent.

Originally posted by blueboy

...  a young man lowering his wetsuit and literally pissing in my general direction when given a safety direction ... Undoubtedly he thought I was being a jobs worth ... . 

[QUOTE=blueboy] Waving my willy at an official however has not been my style at any point in my life.

In a rule 69 hearing the protest committee would be alert for evidence of any such excuses and give it due weight.

'its a just a joke' and 'boys will be boys' and 'it's only a junior event' are the very excuses that allow bad behaviour to get traction at the junior level then repeated by so-called mature adults in club and public competition.


Edited by Brass - 02 Jun 15 at 11:01pm
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