Latest News: Forums Racing to protest or not to protest – letter in Wayfarer News

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  • #3827

    I read with interest the letter in the latest News from Cath Longhurst and Tracey Newman, and Steve Collins’ reply.

    I am not sure that a Race Committee ever had the right to summarily disqualify a boat without a hearing for not sailing the required course. Race Officers often wish they could, but boats have a right to a hearing.

    However my main concern is that this situation should never have arisen in the first place. Whilst it may be very convenient for Race Committees to have competitors sail through the finish line on each lap I feel strongly that this practice should not be encouraged. When the finish line is part way up a beat it effectively splits the “playing field” in two. To understand this, draw a diagram with a leeward and a windward mark, then draw in the lay lines from each mark. This defines the “playing field”. now draw in a comittee boat and finish mark part way up the beat and then draw in the lay lines from the leeward mark to the line, and from the line to the windward mark. It is surprising how much smaller the “playing field” becomes. Even worse, if the SI state that one must NOT cross the line then this cuts a huge hole out of the middle of the pitch!

    Race Officers often wish to have boats sail through the line in order to have the opportunity to shorten course at the end of the lap. However, a simple procedure, used with success at many events, including the Wayafarer Europeans in Skerries, avoids unnecessarily restricting boats options on the beat. It can be used at any mark to send boats back to the finish line. Here is the instruction used at Skerries.

    13.2 An alternative shorten course procedure may be used. If the race committee displays flag F (with repetitive sound signals), boats shall round the mark at which the signal is displayed and then sail directly to the finish line. SI 12.2 will apply. This modifies rule 32.

    In this way the Race Committee can shorten course rapidly.

    Please note that any Flag can be chosen as long as the SIs state clearly which flag is to be used.

    A second point – as a Judge I normally try and be out on the water when racing is taking place. I may well have had a discussion with the Race Officer if I had noted that the line was difficult to see (which may not have been apparent from the Committee Boat)

    There are occasions when a Judge who observes an infringement would seriously consider protesting (as they have a right to do). Rule 2 infringements would normally be protested, as would a boat not sailing the proper course. If I seen this incident I would probably have protested.

    One argument for having the judges on the water is that they then become familiar figures for competitors. They become more approachable (or am I just looking for a justification for hanging around in the bar once protest have been dealt with). I would have expected, following such an incident, for at least one competitor to have discussed the matter with me. I would have advised them to protest, and raised the issue with the race officer to ensure that there was no repetition.

    I would argue that all participants in an event are responsible for ensuring that the rules are observed. This includes not only competitors, race committee and judges (all of whom may protest) but also spectators and other observors (who may make a report to the Race Committee or Protest Committee)

    Gordon DAVIES W9228
    National Judge

    #7492
    bigal
    Member

    Two deliveries in the Chaplin household

    (i) a new beautiful Hartley ,and

    (ii) an equally beautiful grand-daughter courtesy of my one -time crew ,Lesley !

    Unfortunately one of the new arrivals leaks rather badly !!

    #7493
    mudskipper
    Member

    …don’t worry Alan, the new self-bailers work a treat!

    #7494
    mckechnie
    Member

    Well done – brilliant! Have a very Happy Christmas!

    #7495
    Liam
    Member

    Excellent news on both counts.
    Sue and I are loving our new boat. Creating strong interest at our club. Enjoying it as much as possible before the other noisy leaky things come along and demand attention on a Sunday!!! hopefully a little distance away yet.
    I can see you being the dopey and soft old grandfather but somehow racing might just take priority.
    Have a great Christmas and really looking forward to seeing what your new transom looks like….just briefly before we lose sight of you.
    Liam

    #7496
    Liam
    Member

    By the way please do pass on our heartiest congrats to Lesley

    #7497
    RayS
    Member

    I shouldn’t worry about the leaks, the Hartley warranty should cover them ha! ha! Best wishes and congrats to Lesley Ray & Jill

    #7498

    Some thoughts on this new discussion thread:

    1. Congratulations to Alan on his new arrivals!

    2. It’s a bit scary hear that Kath and Tracy will be marauding through the fleet next year rather than skipping over the mud. They are clearly getting serious.

    3. Mike and I will be liaising closely with Liam over SIs and courses for Falmouth so hopefully we can avoid any repeat of the problems in Race 1 at this years champs.

    4. On water judges are a great idea (although I had a few bad experiences with an international judge called Monsieur Bastard – seriously – at the Enterprise World Champs a couple of years ago). I wonder if we have any retired racers out there who fancy following the fleet around in a RIB at Falmouth?

    #7499

    1. Was that Paul Bastard – a Breton now exiled in Corsica. I did my first rules course with him many years ago. One of the first race official to get involved in board sailing

    2. Can someone reming me of the dates for Falmouth? If available it would be fun to repeat my experience at Skerries. Especially if the exchange rate remains in our favour.

    3. I can send you a copy of the SIs we worked out for the Europeans – and would be willing to read and comment draft SIs for Falmouth

    Gordon

    #7500

    @Gordon Davies wrote:

    1. Was that Paul Bastard – a Breton now exiled in Corsica. I did my first rules course with him many years ago. One of the first race official to get involved in board sailing
    YES – I think it was Paul, but I never really got on first name terms with him! We had more of a formal relationship

    2. Can someone reming me of the dates for Falmouth? If available it would be fun to repeat my experience at Skerries. Especially if the exchange rate remains in our favour.
    SUNDAY 9th TO FRIDAY 14th AUGUST

    3. I can send you a copy of the SIs we worked out for the Europeans – and would be willing to read and comment draft SIs for Falmouth
    YES please, Gordon, that would be most helpful

    Gordon

    Regards
    Steve

    #7530
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    As one of the ‘guilty’ boats involved in the issue at the start of this thread, I’ll put forward my case.
    On coming ashore,another competitor said I had missed the gate.
    I did nothing, fully expecting to be called to a meeting or disqualified.
    I was informed the following morning of a protest against me by another competitor, and retired straight away.
    My only defence would have been that the SI said (from memory) that the start / finish line would be a gate on every lap.
    Well it was the finish line, but no where near our starting line !

    So to answer the initial question , YES , put in the protest.

    We lost a top 5 position, but rules is rules. and no hard feelings

    Roger

    #7531

    It might have been better for you to go to the protest. If there was an ambiguity concerning the SIs or the position of the start/finish gate, then you may have been in a position to request redress.

    Does anyone have a copy of the SIs? As an unrecontructed rules-nerd I would be interested in having a look at them.

    Gordon

    #7538

    The notice of race etc for Falmouth Week 2009 have been published.

    See
    http://www.falmouthweek.org/

    Mike McKechnie and I would be pleased to have any feedack on the content, prior to our detailed planning discussions with Liam and the race organisers.

    Regards
    Steve

    #7540
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I’ve yet to understand why the race committee didn’t just score the offending boats DNF. After all, if a boat is expected through the line X times and it does so only X-1 times, it will evidently be DNF as soon as the time limit is up.

    #7561

    @Justthecrew wrote:

    I’ve yet to understand why the race committee didn’t just score the offending boats DNF. After all, if a boat is expected through the line X times and it does so only X-1 times, it will evidently be DNF as soon as the time limit is up.

    Agreed – this would have been a simple solution, but we couldn’t persuade Race Officer at Parkstone to accept it. A symptom of the litigous society, I think.

    Steve

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