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Under 18's declarations for Club racing

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marwen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote marwen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 20 at 2:44am
Originally posted by Noah

Every club and event that I have been involved with makes it clear that it is the sailorís responsibility to decide whether it is safe to sail or not. What qualifications does an OOD have to make that call? On e.g. a water company reservoir, there may be stipulations about safety cover, in which case if the OOD doesnít deploy the safety boats then racing cannot go ahead, but itís a brave man who does that inland. Underpowered boats (420, Cadet) can cope with a lot more than a 49er. On the sea I would take advice from the RNLI cox or a joint crew decision.
Itís all about personal responsibility, not being TOLD what I can and cannot do.


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ClubRacer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ClubRacer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 20 at 8:12pm
Originally posted by marwen

Originally posted by Noah

Every club and event that I have been involved with makes it clear that it is the sailorís responsibility to decide whether it is safe to sail or not. What qualifications does an OOD have to make that call? On e.g. a water company reservoir, there may be stipulations about safety cover, in which case if the OOD doesnít deploy the safety boats then racing cannot go ahead, but itís a brave man who does that inland. Underpowered boats (420, Cadet) can cope with a lot more than a 49er. On the sea I would take advice from the RNLI cox or a joint crew decision.
Itís all about personal responsibility, not being TOLD what I can and cannot do.


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Most people on this forum probably know their limits and can make their own descisions and don't fall into this category. Unfortunatly a lot of people at our club have no idea of what their limit is. I've never witnessed an OOD saying "you cant sail" but I've seen plenty of more experienced people talking them out of it.

In my opinion it can't hurt to give the OOD the ability to stop people from going out, specially when it could cause more issues and danger to those who then have to rescue them if something went wrong. Obviously if power abuse becomes a thing you just review it
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 20 at 8:58pm
But what if the OOD doesn't stop someone who in retrospect wasn't up to it, and the worst happens?
Is the OOD then at fault for not stopping this person(s) sailing?
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 20 at 9:52pm
What if the OOD has no idea of either the ability of the person or the danger of the conditions? You can't have a situation where one week decisions are made for a sailor and the next they aren't or where a decision is simply wrong.

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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 20 at 10:13pm
OOD, could say to someone, 'in my opinion the conditions are to severe for you, however if you insist on sailing, you must sign to say you have been cautioned'. Obviously this will only work with club sailors who you know, wouldn't work with strangers, at a club strangers would be new members or competitors in a open etc.
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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: 11 Jun 20 at 11:26pm
So you want to interfere with a person's freedom to go sailing, then further annoy them by asking them to sign a piece of paper?
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chrisarnell1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chrisarnell1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 7:48am
It's been a while since I started this post so a quick update on our situation.
The Club's proposal to allow Race Officers to exercise their own judgement on allowing under-14's to race by telling them they couldn't take part was dropped.
It remains the decision of participants to decide whether or not to race.
In my view this is a victory for common sense.
The R.O has plenty of options available to manage the risks to competitors without having to take responsibility for sailors' decisions which potentially makes the club liable for anything that happens.
Our entry form is very clunky and must be completed before you're allowed to race.
I'm not sure what purpose it serves (the signing on sheets used to contain the customary wording and by signing on you were deemed to have accepted all the conditions and risks). I guess it's something that Clubs have been advised to do nowadays.
The good news, from my perspective, is that the most bizarre elements of what the Club was proposing last year have now been dropped.
When we go back to racing is anyone's guess, but that's another story!


Edited by chrisarnell1 - 12 Jun 20 at 7:49am
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 7:56am
One positive of self distancing and not passing pens and paper around might be that entry forms become a thing of the past!

Glad it all worked out sensibly in the end.
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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: 12 Jun 20 at 8:21am

Originally posted by piglet

But what if the OOD doesn't stop someone who in retrospect wasn't up to it, and the worst happens?
Is the OOD then at fault for not stopping this person(s) sailing?

I would suggest:
  1. If the OOD or the club assumes†responsibility, for example, by making a practice of directing some sailors not to go sailing, or documenting a procedure to do so, then does not follow that procedure and a disaster happens, then the OOD and/or the club may be liable.
  2. If the OOD or club does not do or document a procedure about directing sailors not to go sailing, then I think that they would be less likely to be found liable for not so directing.
There's a good chance that one of these days some ambulance chasing lawyer will accuse a club of failing to prevent someone going sailing, and rule 4 is provided as a defence against that, bearing in mind the qualifications about young sailors discussed upthread.
I'm not aware that this has ever happened,
I can only reiterate:† do your risk assessment as recommended by the RYA and act accordingly.


Edited by Brass - 12 Jun 20 at 11:07pm
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chrisarnell1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chrisarnell1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 8:32am
One thing that gets on my nerves is the constant justification of more regulation and paperwork on the basis that "we live in an increasingly litigious world". There is precious little evidence to support this - sailing clubs are very rarely cited as examples (I can't think of any). The biggest risk is probably someone being injured owing to negligence. Disclaimers aren't really there to keep you safe. Risk assessments, operating procedures, equipment and training keep people safe. Your online entry form that requires 9  initials and a signature (I counted) is really just the Club's attempt to avoid claims of negligence. Friday morning rant over :)
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