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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bootscooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sailing Instructions interpretation...
    Posted: 25 Jul 12 at 11:41pm
Here's one for you Rules gods....
This from a Junior Class Champs..
 
SI. 9.4 - The sustitute mark will be black cylindrical
 
SI. 11 - Change of Course After Start
SI. 11.1 - Moving a mark: When it is necessary and posible, the Race Committee will either move the position of the mark, or lay a substitute mark.
 
Scenario;
Penultimate race of a champioship, the leading group of around 10-14 boats round the leeward mark (olympic course) and all the correct flags/signals are made to indicate that the windward mark has been moved or replaced.  At this point, the black cylindrical mark had not been layed, and was being towed by a rib.
This leading group sail the course and round the original orange windward mark, are not given a finish and are made to sail another lap, pushing them to the bottom of the results.
Apllications for redress are entered, as the sailors interpretation was that as the black mark had not been dropped, their assumpion was that the original mark had been moved (hence the signals).
 
Allegedly, boats further down the fleet were given the nod that they had to round the black mark.
 
No redress was given to any of the applicants, as apparently a) they were not made in time (they were as we had a stop watch running from the last competitor coming ashore), b) it was admitted that the SIs were confusing, but the RC were within their rights to specify a substitute mark that had not yet been layed/was still being moved.  Should I mention that the protest forms went in after sailing on the last day of the champs, with the Club/Assc wanting to get on with prizegiving?
 
My question is; How is a sailor to know whether the original mark has been moved, or if the RC actually want you to use a substitute mark that is not yet stationary?
 


Edited by Bootscooter - 25 Jul 12 at 11:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 12 at 2:42am
The race committee, by their sailing instruction providing for either/or use of a substitute mark has achieved exactly the confusion that was predictable by not following the model SI in RRS Appendix L
 
12 CHANGE OF THE NEXT LEG OF THE COURSE
12.1 To change the next leg of the course, the race committee will move the original mark (or the finishing line) to a new position.
(OR)
12.1 To change the next leg of the course, the race committee will lay a new mark (or move the finishing line) and remove the original mark as soon as practicable. When in a subsequent change a new mark is replaced, it will be replaced by an original mark.
 
Rule 33 provides that the changed mark need not be in position when the change of course signal is given before boats begin the changed leg.  This extends some little way into the changed leg, but desirably the moved mark or the new substitute mark should be laid as soon as possible so as to enable competitors to adopt appropriate tactics and strategy to deal with the change in the leg.
 
HOWEVER, the change in course signals required by rule 33 given before any boats begin the changed leg told them the direction and the distance of the change, so the competitors are able to know the position where the changed mark will be.
 
If the original mark never moved, then in hearing a protest, I would not accept that an assumption that the original mark had been moved to the position signalled, when there was a substitute mark laid in that position (i.e. further out in the direction signalled), was reasonable.
 
So, if competitors did not sail the new leg in the signalled direction and distance, and round whatever mark was in the signalled position, then, I would be minded to conclude that they were, in part, at fault for any failure to round the signalled mark, and thus not entitled to redress, even though the race committee has published a confusing SI.
 
Possibly competitors would have a better case if the wind had flicked back away from the changed direction so that the original mark once again became dead to windward, or more truly to windward than the substiute mark, but you haven't suggested that that happened.
 
If the race committee 'coached' some boats in the fleet to go to the substitute mark and did not do the same for other boats in the fleet, then that's looking pretty unfair, but it only goes anywhere if there is a valid request for redress.
 
If the protest committee decided that requests for redress were invalid because they were not deliverd within the time limit in accordance with rule 62.2, that pretty much wraps it up:  there will be an unappealable fact found in there.
 
But I can't see what having 'a stop watch running from the last competitor coming ashore' would prove.  In normal SI, the Protest Time Limit is usually calculated based on the time boats finish.  How would a race committee or protest committee know when a 'last competitor came ashore', and wouldn't that time 1) be open to manipulation by competitors and 2)  get ridiculous if there was a blow-out or one boat sank and never came ashore at all.
 
If I were you, I wouldn't go alleging that the protest committee fudged its decisions because the organising authority wanted to get on with the prize-giving.  That would be a bloody rude insult to the protest committee.
 
In answer to your last question:  a sailor is supposed to know whether the original mark has been moved by observing whether or not it is in its original position or in the position signalled in the change leg signals.  The mark, whether the original one or a substitute need not be stationary when the change leg signals are given, or at the beginning of the leg, but it should, desirably be down and firm when boats start shaping their approach to it.
 
Bottom line:
  • Yes, race committee caused a problem by writing confusion into their SI;
  • Yes, if boats had been paying attention to the course they would have readily identified where to go to round the changed mark.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 12 at 7:25am
Brass - SIs here often define Protest Limits by the time of the last boat coming ashore since 1 hour sail ins are not uncommon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bootscooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 12 at 12:00pm

If I were you, I wouldn't go alleging that the protest committee fudged its decisions because the organising authority wanted to get on with the prize-giving.  That would be a bloody rude insult to the protest committee.

 

In answer to your last question:  a sailor is supposed to know whether the original mark has been moved by observing whether or not it is in its original position or in the position signalled in the change leg signals.  The mark, whether the original one or a substitute need not be stationary when the change leg signals are given, or at the beginning of the leg, but it should, desirably be down and firm when boats start shaping their approach to it.

 


.
Bottom line:


  • Yes, race committee caused a problem by writing confusion into their SI;

  • Yes, if boats had been paying attention to the course they would have readily identified where to go to round the changed mark.
[/QUOTE]

I'm not suggesting that the decision was fudged in this way - that's just how a number of the sailors felt after the hearing. Bear in mind that this is a Junior Class within a larger Class association, and because of the way this was done, a number of other issues with the RC earlier in the week, and some decisions that were made at last years Nationals, there is an element of "Inferiority Complex" going on.
Also bear in mind that as a Junior Class, most of the competitors were racing without using compasses, so a bearing is of little practical use.
The race in question was race one of two on the day, so time limit on protests was 20 mins of the last boat coming ashore.

As the confusion (interpretation) arose in this case from the poorly written SIs, is it right that the "correct" interpretation should be that of the RC (who knew what they meant), or the 14 sailors at the front of the Champs fleet (who knew what made practical sense, and hadn't been advised otherwise by RIBS on the course)?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 12 at 2:59pm
Originally posted by Bootscooter

Originally posted by Brass

If I were you, I wouldn't go alleging that the protest committee fudged its decisions because the organising authority wanted to get on with the prize-giving.  That would be a bloody rude insult to the protest committee.
 
In answer to your last question:  a sailor is supposed to know whether the original mark has been moved by observing whether or not it is in its original position or in the position signalled in the change leg signals.  The mark, whether the original one or a substitute need not be stationary when the change leg signals are given, or at the beginning of the leg, but it should, desirably be down and firm when boats start shaping their approach to it.
Bottom line:
  • Yes, race committee caused a problem by writing confusion into their SI;
  • Yes, if boats had been paying attention to the course they would have readily identified where to go to round the changed mark.

I'm not suggesting that the decision was fudged in this way - that's just how a number of the sailors felt after the hearing.  Bear in mind that this is a Junior Class within a larger Class association, and because of the way this was done, a number of other issues with the RC earlier in the week, and some decisions that were made at last years Nationals, there is an element of "Inferiority Complex" going on.
Also bear in mind that as a Junior Class, most of the competitors were racing without using compasses, so a bearing is of little practical use.
The race in question was race one of two on the day, so time limit on protests was 20 mins of the last boat coming ashore.

As the confusion (interpretation) arose in this case from the poorly written SIs, is it right that the "correct" interpretation should be that of the RC (who knew what they meant), or the 14 sailors at the front of the Champs fleet (who knew what made practical sense, and hadn't been advised otherwise by RIBS on the course)?
 
Sounds like you had a disappointing championship regatta.  I'm sorry to hear that.
 
Also sounds like you have reasons to think that the race committee that your Class Association appointed has let you down.  I'm also sorry to hear that, but apart from promising yourself that you will take a more active part in the organisation next year and prevent bad things happening, there doesn't seem to be much to be done about it at this point.
 
OK, I understand about the protest time limit running from when last boat comes ashore (thanks Sargesail).  I'm also pleased to hear that you don't really think that the protest committee flicked your competitors off.
 
I understand the difficulty about compasses, but I wonder why the race committee, who should have known that many boats didn't have compasses, signalled the change with a compass bearing instead of the green triangle, red rectangle signals for right and left provided in rule 33(a)(2).  Maybe just another little thing that the race committee didn't do very well.
 
Hoooowever, you are saying that the top dozen boats in the fleet, presumably containing the best and brightest of your juniors, at least some of whom should have had compasses and known how to use them, all sheep-followed one another to the wrong mark.  At least some of those competitors should be kicking themselves.
 
As I said before, because the protest committee never heard the requests for redress, we will never know how they would have decided them, but this is not a matter of 'interpretation', rather it's a matter of the requrements of the rules regarding the giving of redress.
 
Rule 62.1 requires that for redress to be given for a race committee action or inaction:
  • there must be an improper action or omission of the race committee (62.1(a));
  • a boat being considered for redress must have had her score made significantly worse by that improper action or omission (62.1 stem);  and
  • there must have been no fault of the boat's own that also contributed to her score being made worse (62.1 stem).
Firstly, it is arguable that because the race committee didn't actually break any part of rule 33, then their SI and their actions on the water don't constitute an improper action.
 
Secondly, supposing that the protest committee did find that there was an improper action of the race committee, it may seem harsh, but any action of the boat that contributed to causing her score to be made worse rules out the giving of redress.
 
In this case, with the top flight of sailors in a national championship, I (from 10,000 miles away, and not having heard all the evidence) am inclined to think that going back to the original mark that had not been moved at all was a fault of the boat's own, and that redress should not be given.
 
Later Addition:
 
You earlier mentioned that the boats were 'not given a finish'.  Depending on the SI about boats being 'given a finish' and 'how many laps they were required to do', you might have had a better grounds for redress for the race committee not recording and scoring the finish (Case 80).
 
There might have been fault on the boat's part in rounding the wrong mark, but there was no apparent fault on the boats when they crossed the finishing line.
 
But it's rather water under the bridge
 


Edited by Brass - 27 Jul 12 at 1:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GarethT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 12 at 11:26am
The relevance of the stop watch is that the sailors knew they were within the time limit for their class. I suspect (but don't know for sure) that the time limit the protest committee chose to apply was for when the last radial had come ashore.
 
As to the signalling of the mark being moved, I understand that there was nio bearing shown, just a green flag to indicate it had been moved to the right.
 
Regardless of any rights and wrongs, the sailors in question felt that they had been 'dismissed' because they were just children, and the grown-ups wanted to get on with their prize giving.
 
Add to this that the first race of the championship was abandoned due to confusion about marks, and the second race had to be re-run because the race committee lost the results, it really left some of the kids feeling like they were second class competitors despite paying the same entry fee as the grown-ups.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 12 at 1:02pm
Originally posted by GarethT

...
 
Add to this that the first race of the championship was abandoned due to confusion about marks, and the second race had to be re-run because the race committee lost the results, it really left some of the kids feeling like they were second class competitors despite paying the same entry fee as the grown-ups.



That sounds absolutely shameful.
When clubs take an entry fee, they should be expected to provide a reasonable quality of service.

I would write formally to complain and copy the RYA.

Too many clubs treat open events purely as am income stream with too little thought to delivery of quality racing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bootscooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 12 at 6:58pm
That's what I was trying to say, without actually saying it as straight as Gareth did (and I thought I was the blunt-talking one of the family )
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SoggyBadger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 12 at 8:56pm
The hosting club sound like a load of incompetent buffoons. Perhaps you should name and shame?

Best wishes from deep in the woods

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Post Options Post Options   Quote gordon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 12 at 10:52pm
One word answer - APPEAL
Gordon
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