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Under 18's declarations for Club racing

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=13498
Printed Date: 09 Aug 20 at 1:51am
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Topic: Under 18's declarations for Club racing
Posted By: chrisarnell1
Subject: Under 18's declarations for Club racing
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 5:31pm
Folks, wonder if you can advise here.
We have parent declarations for Junior sailing activities. Covers usual stuff, acceptance of risks, photography, good behaviour etc.
In the past year our Club came up with a "Dinghy entry form" that every member is supposed to sign and return before taking part in any races. We've added even more paperwork for the Junior sailors and have recently had to head off some over-zealous officers who were looking to give race officers the ability to ban under-14's from Club races if they wanted to.
We've never had a serious incident involving Junior sailors in Club races but we're fighting an internal battle with a group of officers who seem to think our Juniors are in imminent danger of a safety incident or the Club being held liable.
Does your club make any special provision for junior members taking part in Club races and are there any specific requirements or restrictions in place?
We sail in a pretty shallow, sheltered harbour by the way. So I'd say our risks are low.



Replies:
Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 5:57pm
I understood OOD could stop anyone sailing regardless of age ? When I am OOD I would stop someone sailing if I thought they couldn't handle conditions or they were misbehaving etc.

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Robert


Posted By: ian.r.mcdonald
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 6:15pm
With the OD checking for anyone looking at their phone before racing or anyone with grey ( or no ) hair and chucking them out as a risk- it's going to be quiet on the start line.

Whatever happened to sense?


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 6:35pm
I would have thought OOD stopping people sailing was showing sense ?
OOD at my club runs the whole club for the day, that's from organizing races to galley and locking up at end of day, including all logs filled in etc.

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Robert


Posted By: ian.r.mcdonald
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 6:49pm
I am there with you. But any stopping should be based on looking at someones competence rather than just an arbitrary link to age


Posted By: Noah
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 7:36pm
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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Nick
https://www.fireballsailing.org.uk/index.asp?selection=boat-register&subsel=14821" rel="nofollow - GBR 14821 Sijambo



Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 7:39pm
Chris, and others,

It looks like you are looking for advice about proportionate responses to some perceived safety and social behaviour issues.

For that you have come to the wrong place, this is the Racing Rules forum.  For advice about safety management and social control, I suggest you look to the RYA, perhaps starting with this page  https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-advice/safety-mangement/Pages/hub.aspx" rel="nofollow - https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-advice/safety-mangement/Pages/hub.aspx  and including discussions with you local RYA reps.

FWIW, my experience is that extravagant, excessively risk averse responses are usually promoted by people who haven't done a proper risk analysis, but are just scare-mongering.  Do your risk assessment and safety planning as the RYA recommend and this should come up with the right answers.

The 'rules' answer to your questions are.

Firstly, the Racing Rules of Sailing have gone to a lot of trouble to protect Organising Authorities and Race Officials from liability by means of rule 4

4 DECISION TO RACE
The responsibility for a boatís decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone.

Your club is quite right to recognise that this is not absolute and that juniors may be legally incapable of taking this responsibility and parents need to be involved.

Race Officials have no authority under the Racing Rules of Sailing to prevent a boat (and its crew) from competing in an event for which it's entry has been accepted.

Rule 76.1 provides that a boat's entry may be rejected or cancelled, or a competitor may be excluded, but only if this is done before the first race of a series.

After a boat's entry has been accepted and the first race, the only way a competitor, boat owner or support person may be excluded from an event is by a decision of a protest committee following a formal hearing under rule 69 Misconduct.

An OOD can't cherry-pick among competitors and choose who to ban and who to allow to race.

Just for starters, as Noah has said, what confidence would you have that a rostered OOD would be competent to assess the competence and capability of any competitor?  It's certainly not within the competencies required of a Race Officer.

If there was genuine concern about levels of competence, (which is probably more appropriate to higher risk environments, like open sea dinghy racing) then I might suggest that you could institute graded fleets or divisions, like Opti Gold, Silver and Green Fleets, then the RO could abandon racing for selected divisions in adverse conditions.


Posted By: chrisarnell1
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 7:40pm
We stopped short of giving R.O authority to stop someone racing, thank goodness. Causes problems with RRS 4 and RRS 76.1 if you try to do this and could be grounds for redress. Advising someone of the conditions and suggesting maybe don't go afloat seems like good common sense. We also have an SI that allows race committee to tell a competitor to accept help, retire or go ashore if in difficulty. I was mostly wondering if you've put in anything specific to junior sailors sailing in mixed fleets (i.e with adults)


Posted By: chrisarnell1
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 7:53pm
Thank you, Brass. A very considered and comprehensive reply. I decided to post the question here because, like you, I was sure the Club was encroaching into a minefield with RRS 4 & 76 in particular. Given that it's not unusual for under 18's to require a parental declaration of some sort before taking part in events, I wondered what other clubs were doing. Agree with your view that splitting fleets into Gold / Silver etc gives the R.O flexibility to cancel racing for less experienced sailors without having to make a judgement call that could look like discrimination.
Until recently we just scribbled our boat names and sail numbers on a sheet of paper and went sailing. Seems like the good old days are well and truly over!


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 8:09pm
The RYA has a competent legal team and devotes a lot of effort to these sorts of issues. They're always ready to help out affiliated clubs, and I believe see that as one of their major responsibilities. Talk to your RYA rep.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 8:30pm
I can be reported for preventing someone incompetent for conditions sailing ?

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Robert


Posted By: chrisarnell1
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 8:43pm
Under RRS absolutely yes. Rule 4 says the sailor alone is responsible for the decision to race.
You can have a Sailing Instruction obliging a competitor in difficulty to accept help, retire or go ashore, but you and I don't get to decide who races.
Imagine a race officer saying "No kids".
Or what if you allow someone to take part and then they hurt themselves. If you had the authority to stop them racing and didn't do so - does that make you liable for what happens?
Can of worms if you prevent sailors from making their own decision to race.


Posted By: ian.r.mcdonald
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 9:16pm
I am sure you are legally correct, but the idea that the OD who will effectively be running the club should not be able to stop a boat clearly unable to cope with sailing in extreme conditions is worrying to say the least.

I am reminded of a conversation I had years ago with a newly qualified doctor. They had been advised that in a situation such as being on a plane when someone was taken seriously ill and a call was made for a doctor to assist. The advice was to stay in their seat to avoid legal action if things went wrong


Posted By: chrisarnell1
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 9:25pm
If a competitor is on the water and unable to cope, you can order them to accept assistance, retire or go ashore. How do you know they are unable to cope before they launch?  And if a competitor is unable to cope - it's their responsibility for being out there, not ours. If we take the decision away from them, do we make ourselves responsible?
Do we have an issue with sailors going afloat for races and then getting into trouble? I don't see much evidence of this at my club and we all have to learn somehow. I imagine we've all ended up on a lee shore or been towed home in shame at some point :)


Posted By: PeterG
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 9:44pm
I don't think it's quite as simple as just reference to Rule 4, if you are dealing with children.

The separate issue of responsiblity comes in. Getting a parental permission form is certainly a key first step, but you need to be careful the club or OOD is not seen as taking responsiblity. At a previous club I think we expected parents of those below a certain age (lower than 18, can't remember exactly) to be present at the club.

If in doubt the RYA legal dept is the place to ask, as has been suggested. I've always found them to be extremely helpful when needed.


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Peter
Ex Cont 707
Laser 189635
DY 59


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 10:03pm
I find it very difficult to see how RYA can order my club to allow anyone who wants to sail, even though they are not safe to do so ?

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Robert


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 10:36pm
Originally posted by 423zero

I find it very difficult to see how RYA can order my club...

To the best of my knowledge the RYA is not generally in the business of ordering clubs what to do, but if they offer well founded advice it would most likely be foolish to ignore it. Equally it would be foolish of me to make any suggestion as to what that advice might be.


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 11:09pm
Ugh - if you canít get rid of these club officials find a new club!

Makes me angry to see the suggestion that young sailors might be treated like this. Itís not just a question of their craft - many I simply really really good sailors who spend a lot of time on the water. Size is their only limiting factor and they are scaled to their boats!

Thank goodness for rule 4 etc


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 11:21pm
When I was in my early teens I would go out in F5 singlehanded in a Heron and just blast up and down in the bay. Sure my dad and other club members were keeping a weather eye and had I got into difficulties a boat would have been launched but statistically the worst that would likely happen would be that I got cold and even wetter and had to face the embarrassment of being rescued. I know there was a very small risk of something more serious but it was probably safer than crossing the road.......

I realise things are different now and we need to be more conscious of risk, especially when dealing with other peoples kids but we shouldn't take away the opportunity for them to have real independence, for a for an afternoon at least. Sailing is one of few sports where kids can have that.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 14 Jan 20 at 11:45pm
This isn't just about kids, I would tell anyone they couldn't sail for these reasons.
1 Drunkenness.
2 Illness.
3 Lack of experience.
4 Whatever else.
Picture this, standing in front of the Coroner, they are satisfied you were competent to be OOD,

'DID YOU KNOW SAILOR LACKED SUFFICIENT EXPERIENCE "
For my part, enough said.

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Robert


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 9:07am
Not a great supporter of the Three Beers Race then, 423Zero? Down a pint, run to the shore, Le Mans start, round a buoy, land, run up the shore, down a pint, repeat x3...


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 9:27am
At Hunts we insist that any junior member (i.e. under 18) either has a parent on site or an adult nominated to be in loco-parentis.

Another thing to bear in mind is the age of legal responsibility. This is commonly seen as around 13/14 but there is no hard and fast rule and can be younger or older depending on the individual involved (this is why we insist on a parent or nominated adult to be responsbile). It used to be known a Gillick Competent (for those who remember the Victoria Gillick case).

As for safety cover we have it in the club rules that if the safety boat orders you off the water or orders you to board and abandon your boat then you do so or there are sanctions the club can take.


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Paul
----------------------
D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: andymck
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 10:25am
We have the safety cover rule. If too severe wind conditions, racing is abandoned not individuals.
The safety cover rule has been a contention. We have had a junior, who was out training in high winds, who had not capsized and was clearly coping sent in. The rescue coxswain did not know the sailor involved and was applying an age assumption. We just put a ďcoachĒ boat on the water to get round the issue.
Our youths and juniors are often seen heading out to train when the more experienced sailors are heading to the bar.
They all also know that if capsized and struggling they may be taken off the water.

Andy

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Andy Mck


Posted By: Noah
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 11:25am
The answer to "DID YOU KNOW SAILOR LACKED SUFFICIENT EXPERIENCE" is "I'm not qualified or competent to judge who is or is not sufficiently experienced".
What do you do if an individual insists they are going afloat when you are trying to prevent them from doing so? Use physical restraint? That would be assault.
Advice is one thing "I wouldn't sail in this, Fred. Don't you think it's a bit fierce today?"
Instruction / compulsion is quite another.


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Nick
https://www.fireballsailing.org.uk/index.asp?selection=boat-register&subsel=14821" rel="nofollow - GBR 14821 Sijambo



Posted By: Noah
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 11:27am
At a previous club there emerged a tendency for parents to drop their kids off in the morning and disappear for the day. Result - uncontrolled kids grouping themselves into one or more factions and running amok. So the club started to enforce its rule that said the parent or guardian was responsible and must remain on site.

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Nick
https://www.fireballsailing.org.uk/index.asp?selection=boat-register&subsel=14821" rel="nofollow - GBR 14821 Sijambo



Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 11:46am
Noah, you are prepared to lie under oath ?
No one mentioned how you enforce sanction, that would be up to club committee if someone sailed after being told not to, I would be confident committee would stand by OOD.

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Robert


Posted By: Noah
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 12:26pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Noah, you are prepared to lie under oath ?

Absolutely not, but what qualifications do you have that make you competent to judge - on sight - someone's ability to cope with conditions - which may change from minute to minute anyway? Quite apart from that, the answer I suggested cannot be construed as a lie. It is a statement of the lack of qualifications to be able to judge.

Experience is one thing. Qualification something else entirely.

I'm unfit, overweight and over 60. My abilities are declining, largely because I don't sail enough. I would be very upset if someone, known to me or not, tried to decide for me whether I could sail or not.

I am very tired of the constant trend towards the attempt to de-risk everything we do. Life is not risk-free and no-one gets out alive. I would rather take the risk of being hurt occasionally than sit on the sofa and watch.


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Nick
https://www.fireballsailing.org.uk/index.asp?selection=boat-register&subsel=14821" rel="nofollow - GBR 14821 Sijambo



Posted By: Gordon 1430
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 1:04pm
Luckily we don't have any control over who goes sailing or when its a public slipway.
I wouldn't want as a race officer to make that call, I have gone and spoken to people suggesting its possibly not sensible but would not stop someone, the exception might be if they were very young and no parent was around to take a sensible choice. 
We also have another slip way 50 yards away again public and sometimes used by visitors to the area who seem to have purchased boats on the internet (old fireballs and Ents seem to be favourite) and take the family out with no idea what its like or going to get like. Luckily in some cases the launching into Solent chop sorts out a few. Fisherman also use that slip and I have spoken to them when on Rib duty 4 blokes, very little freeboard and no life jackets etc.



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Gordon
Phantom 1430


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 1:28pm
Originally posted by Noah

At a previous club there emerged a tendency for parents to drop their kids off in the morning and disappear for the day. Result - uncontrolled kids grouping themselves into one or more factions and running amok. So the club started to enforce its rule that said the parent or guardian was responsible and must remain on site.

This was one of the reasons we bought the rule in.


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 9:12pm
Wow, I've come into this thread late, and I'm quite surprised at what I'm reading.

I generally find that clubs are desperate to get juniors out racing. To have an OOD who can arbitrarily tell people they aren't allowed out because they are young, especially when the young sailor may well have a better understanding of their boat and their skill level than the OOD, is extraordinary. Advice is another matter, but only if the adviser is experienced enough for that advice to have any worth at all.

If using the "ban the young" approach, don't be surprised if you start losing family memberships.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 9:17pm
Should have said, feral children not a great idea, though! We run an under 16 policy, though you can't be responsible for under 16s until you are over 18.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: chrisarnell1
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 9:26pm
Have always thought that sailing was the best way for kids to grow up. The "feral" ones tend to drop out very quickly when things get tough. They also seemed to be quite privileged and spoilt. I never missed them. Sailing tends to filter out the soft ones.
Elderly committees who have no regard for the intelligence and decision making skills of young people, however. Not so easy to get rid of.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 10:14pm
I refer you to my previous post :-

When I was in my early teens I would go out in F5 singlehanded in a Heron and just blast up and down in the bay. Sure my dad and other club members were keeping a weather eye and had I got into difficulties a boat would have been launched but statistically the worst that would likely happen would be that I got cold and even wetter and had to face the embarrassment of being rescued. I know there was a very small risk of something more serious but it was probably safer than crossing the road.......
I realise things are different now and we need to be more conscious of risk, especially when dealing with other peoples kids but we shouldn't take away the opportunity for them to have real independence, for a for an afternoon at least. Sailing is one of few sports where kids can have that.


-------------
Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 10:36pm
Again loathe the idea that perfectly competent sensible young sailors might be restricted by the need for their parents to be present because of unrelated Ďferalí kids.

As Rupert implies WE HAVE TO REMOVE THE BLOCKS TO NEW PARTICPANTS (principally children) IF THE SPORT IS TO SURVIVE.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 11:01pm
Originally posted by sargesail

need for their parents to be present because of unrelated Ďferalí kids.

In these days I believe the major advantage of requiring parent or guardian to be present is that it takes away some of the requirements of child protection law and reduces the amount of bureaucracy your volunteers have to submit to. But don't take my word for it, because I am no expert in the subject.

Again, talk to the RYA. They have considerable expertise available to clubs on these topics.

It would terrify me if anyone's club is listening to what's being said here rather than talking to the RYA and getting current and accurate information. Remember the legislation changes frequently, you can no longer rely on what used to be correct even 5 years ago still being valid.


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 15 Jan 20 at 11:05pm
That might be the advantage but the use cited was to deal with feral kids....a completely separate and unrelated thing.


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 9:14am
The OP asked what other clubs do, So,,,,,,,
at my south coast straight off the beach club we operate to RRS4.
The OOD/RO, same thing in our case, has a duty of care to those in his (unpaid) employ ie. RIB crews, if it's deemed dangerous for the RIB crews to launch then it's cancelled.
The OOD also has a duty of care to ensure there is sufficient rescue cover for the day, taking into account conditions, number of competitors and to some extent the quality of the competitors.
However the OOD is not asked to make judgements on competitors abilities and stop them from sailing. the competitors make their own decisions on suitability, or if U18 the parent/guardian/loco parentis on-site makes the decision, NOT the OOD.

Our problems arise when we have insufficient RIB crews for the day or the crews themselves may lack sufficient hours experience for the day, there are times we have sailed but perhaps shouldn't have because the safety umbrella wasn't really up to it.
One could also argue that a OOD ought to cancel just because of sailor quality if there are not enough RIBS for all of them! Thankfully it hasn't come to that.
We operate on a common sense approach where the OOD if in doubt consults with the competitors and his RIB crews.

My view is RRS4 serves to protect the OOD from having to make decisions on sailor suitability that the OOD would quite likely be unqualified to make and could then be exposed to risk of litigation.


Posted By: ian.r.mcdonald
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 9:24am
I defer to superior knowledge about this. But are we really saying that having a quiet chat with some sailors clearly struggling to rig and launch, that waiting for a less windy day would be sensible, is not acceptable and would open you to possible litigation?


Posted By: chrisarnell1
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 9:26am
Sarge, I started this thread because of decisions already made (thankfully reversed) by an over-eager and inexperienced Club officer.
We've been running Junior training for years and have some very good procedures for managing Junior training and racing. The Club's proposals suddenly put up a barrier for Juniors wishing to take part in Club racing and we reacted really badly to that. It's been a painful couple of months.
The RYA does offer guidance - which I've checked. But as is always the case - the advice is not specific and talks about managing risks, reasonable measures etc.  They will not tell you how to do something or what to put in place.
Interesting views here which suggests clubs have very different approaches to Junior participation and safety. I was asking for feedback on how different clubs tackle this. We've had some really good advice from contributors on this thread but not too many examples of what forms and declarations are being used at other clubs.
The discussion has been really interesting and a lot of fun though :)
Cheers
Chris



Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 9:40am
Originally posted by ian.r.mcdonald

I defer to superior knowledge about this. But are we really saying that having a quiet chat with some sailors clearly struggling to rig and launch, that waiting for a less windy day would be sensible, is not acceptable and would open you to possible litigation?

No one is saying that. Advising someone they may be out of their depth is one thing, prohibiting them from sailing is another.

I do believe juniors should not be able to sail without a parent/guardian on site.


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 9:45am
Originally posted by piglet

if U18 the parent/guardian/loco parentis on-site makes the decision,

In the absence of a parent or guardian, who might the 'loco parentis' on site be?

What criteria do you use to identify the 'in loco parentis' person in the absence of parents or guardians?

Can you give some examples?


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 9:49am
Originally posted by piglet

My view is RRS4 serves to protect the OOD from having to make decisions on sailor suitability that the OOD would quite likely be unqualified to make and could then be exposed to risk of litigation.
Rule 4 is actually a pretty weak reed to protect you from litigation.

If you get some ambulance-chaser or champion of victimhood coming after you, nothing can stop them suing you, but the RYA insurance for qualified Race Officials will give pretty good protection as to outcomes.

Always provided you do a diligent, conscientious job in the first place.


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 9:52am
Originally posted by ian.r.mcdonald

But are we really saying that having a quiet chat with some sailors clearly struggling would open you to possible litigation?
 

No, what I am saying is if the OOD is placed with the responsibility of judging competitors suitability then the OOD could get it wrong and let someone sail who shouldn't have, and it ends in tragedy. Then he is culpable.

That doesn't stop the OOD, or more likely fellow competitors having a chat with your struggling sailor(or parent), along the lines of, looking lively today, you going to be OK, would you like to crew for someone else?


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 10:02am
Originally posted by Brass

Originally posted by piglet

if U18 the parent/guardian/loco parentis on-site makes the decision,

In the absence of a parent or guardian, who might the 'loco parentis' on site be?

What criteria do you use to identify the 'in loco parentis' person in the absence of parents or guardians?

Can you give some examples?
 

Loco Parentis- appointed adult to act in parents absence?
When I was dragging the kids round the Topper and Kent schools circuit there were actually Loco Parentis forms to sign.
At the club it's a bit less formal, one parent asks another to keep a weather eye while they nip up the shops etc.
In our case Loco Parentis is not a designated club official, even during junior training we insist on parents et al being on site.


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 10:07am
Originally posted by piglet

Duty of Care

Originally posted by piglet

...  he is culpable.

Mate, in among your other helpful and sensible advice, you are throwing around some 'trigger words' in a publicly accessible forum that could well be prejudicial to some conscientious capable race officer who gets sued in the future, or at least deter some people from participating in race management.

Sure RO's and other race officials have 'responsibilites' and 'duties' but lets just leave it at that.

BTW, thanks for the 'loco parentis' stuff.


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 10:11am
My apologies, I stand down, scratch what I said.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 10:24am
Please don't Piglet. This isn't a legal chambers, it's a sailing forum. Chat and opinion is allowed.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 11:06am
Good thread so far.

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Robert


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 12:34pm
Originally posted by A2Z

Originally posted by ian.r.mcdonald

I defer to superior knowledge about this. But are we really saying that having a quiet chat with some sailors clearly struggling to rig and launch, that waiting for a less windy day would be sensible, is not acceptable and would open you to possible litigation?

No one is saying that. Advising someone they may be out of their depth is one thing, prohibiting them from sailing is another.

I do believe juniors should not be able to sail without a parent/guardian on site.


Why? What does that achieve? Genuinely want to understand the perspective?

Whatís a Junior?


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 1:10pm
Originally posted by sargesail

Originally posted by A2Z

[I do believe juniors should not be able to sail without a parent/guardian on site.


Why? What does that achieve? Genuinely want to understand the perspective?

Whatís a Junior?


Pretty good questions.


OK, a parent on site can be held to have consented/agreed/approved of a junior sailor going afloat to compete in a race, and thus might be amenable to rule 4.


I think this argument could run into trouble once the sailor begins racing and conditions or circumstances change:  How can a parent on the shore be 'responsible' for the decision to 'continue racing' on the water?


What's a Junior needs thinking about.


There's obviously all the difference in the world between a 16  year old National Squad member who may be qualified as an Instructor, and a 9 year old at the bottom of Opti Silver Fleet.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 1:24pm
Up to 11 junior, 12 to 16 youth, I believe ?


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Robert


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 1:35pm
A junior is a Junior Member or anyone under, I don't know... 16 probably.

Why? Because they are children. I don't mean that in a derogatory way, but as a statement of fact. I know there are wise, mature, sensible children but as a cohort their decision making skills are immature. The law recognises this in many ways, and indeed parents are legally responsible for their children in many ways. To leave a child for many hours without adult supervision or care is irresponsible.
They are also prone to peer pressure, they may have a fearlessness that belies their ability, they often need adult help with rigging/launch/recovery/packing away (abuse your own boat by all means but please take care of the club Topper you are using for free) and if they become injured it would clearly be beneficial to have a parent to hand. And because the sailing club is not a crŤche.

Having a parent on site will mitigate the risk of inappropriate adult behaviour towards the child, will provide parental control, parental advice, a helping pair of hands and may encourage them to go sailing themselves.



Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 2:21pm
A2Z has it spot on as far as I'm concerned. The responsible adult on site isn't there to decide that the wind has picked up too much a mile out to sea, but to be there to ensure poor decisions aren't made by the child ashore, that if they are off playing an eye is kept to ensure they don't fall in unnoticed. All the things an adult ought to be doing for their kids. This doesn't mean the child can't go off and play with their mates, on or off the water, it simply sets boundaries and a safety net and ensures the poor hard pressed duty team aren't having to act as child minders too.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: Wiclif
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 6:32pm
A couple of pages ago there was a point made that the experience of the rescue crews may not be adequate for rough conditions.

As far as I know, while there is an obligation for sailing instructors to have a power boat certificate, there is no obligation for rescue boat crews to know how to sail.

I think that this would make a big difference.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 8:18pm
Need to strike a balance between Snowflakeism and the good old days boys, these would bring back pea shooters and spud guns

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Robert


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 8:55pm
Originally posted by A2Z

A junior is a Junior Member or anyone under, I don't know... 16 probably.

Why? Because they are children. I don't mean that in a derogatory way, but as a statement of fact. I know there are wise, mature, sensible children but as a cohort their decision making skills are immature. The law recognises this in many ways, and indeed parents are legally responsible for their children in many ways. To leave a child for many hours without adult supervision or care is irresponsible.
They are also prone to peer pressure, they may have a fearlessness that belies their ability, they often need adult help with rigging/launch/recovery/packing away (abuse your own boat by all means but please take care of the club Topper you are using for free) and if they become injured it would clearly be beneficial to have a parent to hand. And because the sailing club is not a crŤche.

Having a parent on site will mitigate the risk of inappropriate adult behaviour towards the child, will provide parental control, parental advice, a helping pair of hands and may encourage them to go sailing themselves.



Iím sure the irony isnít lost on you that you want a parent to be there for them to sail....but none of that applies while sailing.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 9:42pm
Not sure I follow?


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 9:57pm
I think it's that there are 2 things being discussed here. Land based adult supervision and water based being treated as an equal to all the other sailors where age is concerned, when ability is all that matters.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 10:10pm
Ah, okay.  They are separate things, shouldnít be conflated.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 10:42pm
Seems strange to me that there isn't a person who can say NO.

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Robert


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 16 Jan 20 at 10:53pm
Originally posted by Rupert

I think it's that there are 2 things being discussed here. Land based adult supervision and water based being treated as an equal to all the other sailors where age is concerned, when ability is all that matters.


Exactly.

Nor should we imagine that having a parent on site in anyway mitigates on the water risks.

But itís terribly tempting for committeeís to think it does.


Posted By: NicolaJayne
Date Posted: 17 Jan 20 at 12:53am
Originally posted by Brass

Originally posted by piglet

if U18 the parent/guardian/loco parentis on-site makes the decision,

In the absence of a parent or guardian, who might the 'loco parentis' on site be?

What criteria do you use to identify the 'in loco parentis' person in the absence of parents or guardians?

Can you give some examples?


off the top of my  head 

a  helm / crew   who is  over 18  

the parent  of  a helm / crew  who is also an under 18 

a named and suitably  trained and  checked  person  acting in the role of youth leader 




Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 17 Jan 20 at 1:51am
Originally posted by NicolaJayne

Originally posted by Brass

Originally posted by piglet

if U18 the parent/guardian/loco parentis on-site makes the decision,

In the absence of a parent or guardian, who might the 'loco parentis' on site be?

What criteria do you use to identify the 'in loco parentis' person in the absence of parents or guardians?

Can you give some examples?


off the top of my  head 

a  helm / crew   who is  over 18  

the parent  of  a helm / crew  who is also an under 18 

a named and suitably  trained and  checked  person  acting in the role of youth leader 

Can you provide any authority for those examples?  They seem a bit way out to me.

Are you seriously saying that the helm (?person in charge?) of a boat who is over 18, by doing just that, assumes parental responsibility for any crew under that age?

Are you saying that the crew of a boat who is over 18, somehow assumes parental responsibility for the person in charge of that boat if that person is under 18?



Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 17 Jan 20 at 9:10am
Legally, I have no idea, but practically, surely it is no different from a play park, say. If the parents aren't there, then parents of friends are often happy to look out for others, and yes, when I was crewing, my helm would certainly expect to make sure I was happy when sailing and behaving when on land. My parents were rarely there. I'd expect to do the same now. Nothing obtrusive, just a weather eye.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 17 Jan 20 at 9:48am
At Hunts we insist there is an adult nominated for 'children' the waters to get a little murky when they reach 16/17 but by that point, in legal terms, they would usually be considered to be legally responsible.

I am not sure how we deal with this on normal club activities but on courses we ask the parents to write a letter stating they are happy for their child to travel to and from the club alone. On course with under 18s the club is in loco parentis, we prefer parents to not be on site unless they are helping out.

Hunts is also a small club and most of the regular sailors and duty teams (who are volunteers from the sailors) know each other. So on a windy day we know who will usually be ok and who needs a closer eye kept on them.

In terms of forms I believe it is covered in the club rules about youth/junior members and we have had a number of parents join as social members. When there is a good youth group the parents tend to take it in turns to be the nominated adult on site, it works pretty well and we have not had any incidents.


-------------
Paul
----------------------
D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 17 Jan 20 at 10:43am
https://www.lta.org.uk/globalassets/about-lta/safeguarding/safeguarding-at-events-activities-and-competitions.pdf" rel="nofollow - https://www.lta.org.uk/globalassets/about-lta/safeguarding/safeguarding-at-events-activities-and-competitions.pdf

https://www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/leisure/amateur-sports-club.htm" rel="nofollow - https://www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/leisure/amateur-sports-club.htm

https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/sport-safety-and-participation-the-year-in-review-2018-19" rel="nofollow - https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/sport-safety-and-participation-the-year-in-review-2018-19

https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/duty-of-care-in-sport-making-the-case-for-a-sports-ombudsman-in-the-uk" rel="nofollow - https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/duty-of-care-in-sport-making-the-case-for-a-sports-ombudsman-in-the-uk

This good samaritan article quite interesting, a lot of sailors undertaken RYA first aid courses.
https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/how-the-uae-s-impending-good-samaritan-law-could-impact-the-sports-and-events-industry" rel="nofollow - https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/how-the-uae-s-impending-good-samaritan-law-could-impact-the-sports-and-events-industry


-------------
Robert


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 17 Jan 20 at 10:50am
People, don't forget there is now solid legislation for child protection. You don't have a choice about complying with it, no matter how onerous, or bureaucratic, or ridiculous it seems, and how much better you think it might be to use common sense or do what you've always done.

If your club doesn't have up to date professional advice that the way you are doing things is still legal, it seems to me that it would be extraordinarily unwise not to get it. And fast. And consider, your policies make look sensible to you now, but how will they look when reported in news media after being distorted by a slanted reporter looking for a scandal to sell copy?


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 17 Jan 20 at 11:47am
Robert,  Thank you for bringing up Safeguarding.

I would point out that sailing is significantly different from lawn tennis, in that there is a non-negligible risk of death arising from participation in sailing events.

The RYA has provided what appears to be pretty comprehensive guidance to assist clubs to discharge their obligations.  here

http://www.rya.org.uk/about-us/rya-policies/safeguarding/Pages/hub.aspx" rel="nofollow - http://www.rya.org.uk/about-us/rya-policies/safeguarding/Pages/hub.aspx

JimC, I think the RYA guidance is intended to enable clubs to implement safeguarding requirements without obtaining individual legal advice.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 17 Jan 20 at 11:52am
Originally posted by Brass

JimC, I think the RYA guidance is intended to enable clubs to implement safeguarding requirements without obtaining individual legal advice.

For sure. I'd count that as current legal advice.


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 17 Jan 20 at 1:08pm
We're a sea club, so when it's likely to be difficult for kids it's just as likely to be awkward for adults, so it's more naturally all or nothing. We don't have that many kids that are not parentally guided anyway, in fact just the one 16 year old lass who I occasionally drew the short straw to crew in the RS200, I still wake up screaming. She's gone 17 now and I don't think at any time anyone would have refused her access, we view it lucky a kid nowadays even showed interest and therefore should be encouraged to the exciting bit.

Lucky she didn't do what most kids do, take up windsurfing or kitesurfing, or paddle boarding, easier access, fewer rules and regs.

That is those who can be persuaded to do anything real rather than virtual.

The Lake on the other hand is a different story, where the damned kids just rock round in their toppers, mirrors and miracles on a chocolate quest, they should be banned but for entirely different reasons than their safety.

-------------
https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: marwen
Date 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.


You're Right, Agree to youThumbs Up


Posted By: ClubRacer
Date 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.


You're Right, Agree to youThumbs Up

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


Posted By: piglet
Date 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?


Posted By: Rupert
Date 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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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: 423zero
Date 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.

-------------
Robert


Posted By: Brass
Date 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?


Posted By: chrisarnell1
Date 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!


-------------
RS300 393
OK GBR 21


Posted By: Rupert
Date 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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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: Brass
Date 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.


Posted By: chrisarnell1
Date 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 :)

-------------
RS300 393
OK GBR 21


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 9:27am
Brass, I don't intend to interfere with anyone who wants to go sailing, all my posts are suggestions, BUT, this 'entitled' attitude will eventually be suppressed by legislation, no way to stop it.
Include disclaimers in signing on sheet, publish weather conditions, make sure junior sailors parent/guardian has signed.

-------------
Robert


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 10:00am
Disclaimers


Which bit of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 s 2.1 do you not understand?

Negligence liability.
(1) A person cannot by reference to any contract term or to a notice given to persons generally or to particular persons exclude or restrict his liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence.



Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 11:04am
This is latest thinking regarding volunteer liability in sport.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10991-016-9180-4#Sec2" rel="nofollow - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10991-016-9180-4#Sec2


-------------
Robert


Posted By: NicolaJayne
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 11:26am
The fundamental problem  with this is  because of the  negligence and poor standards of training  that  abound in the voluntary  sector where people with inadequate training  are given the power to make life and death decisions. 

this all ties with the stuff aobut the levle of competence of the ordinary person professing to hold a special skill... 

obvious example applicable to  'club duties' in sailing would be  operating a powered rescue boat   without requiring any boat handling tests or that people demonstrate a level of skill 

i've never held a Safety boat  certificate, yet  as a  late teen i was often asked to crew safety boats for open meetings and  the like at  the club my  family  were members of... 

however when push comes to shove , i'm sure that  in terms of ' what training  had she recieved'  coming up that  the club  would have no problem in stating that i had been assessed  by a principal instructor of an RTE  (who shared the water and introduced me to sailing) , who was also a Club Officer ...


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 12:32pm
Robert,
Thank you for the reference.† This is evidently an increasingly complex and arcane area of UK law.

I don't really think it advances the discussion we are having.† Its main thrust appears to be that volunteers should be sheltered from tort liability just because they are volunteers performing a 'desirable activity'.† This flies in the face of the actual development of negligence law which during, say the period 1970 to 2010 emerged, among other things, as a counter to downright carelessness and incompetence by volunteer and other activity organisers, encouraged by right wing governments as a substitute for effective regulation.

As I and others have said:† do your risk assessment conscientiously as recommended by the RYA, implement appropriate measures, ignoring the various doomsayers and get on with it.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 3:36pm
Makes you wonder how organisers of 'British Olympics' get on, cheese rolling got to be one of UK's most dangerous sports, shin kicking another dangerous sport (would this be a martial sport ?), not forgetting 'Shrove football'.

-------------
Robert


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 5:26pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Makes you wonder how organisers of 'British Olympics' get on, cheese rolling got to be one of UK's most dangerous sports, shin kicking another dangerous sport (would this be a martial sport ?), not forgetting 'Shrove football'.


Risk assessments and stick to them. I guess if someone hurts their shin shin kicking that's ok. If the ring collapses (I gave no idea if they have one) then that isn't.

-------------
Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 5:52pm
There are safety measures in place for 'Shin kicking' you are allowed to stuff your trousers with straw


-------------
Robert


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 7:02pm
Is the straw organiser supplied? Poor quality straw could cause shin bruising issues?

-------------
Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 20 at 7:58pm
Yes, needs to be to relevant British Olympic impact standard, Hay won't cut it.

-------------
Robert



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