ryley

Eligibility to Race

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I need the help of the SA collective here. I'm looking for real-world examples that other organizing authorities have taken under similar circumstances.

Has anyone ever had to deny entry to a boat or skipper because they simply could not adequately handle their boat in race conditions or didn't have a good enough grasp on the rules? I'm not talking about juniors, but big boats in both beer can situations and weekend series racing. Also, anyone who knows me knows that what I want to do is promote sailing, and I understand that we want to be inclusive and to teach whenever we can. Those options have been explored, so I only need to know how you handled the extreme situation of not allowing someone to race.

If you did deny entry, how did you structure the denial? I want to make sure that *if* I have to take an action like this that I'm on solid footing.

Thank you in advance.

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We need a lot more information - starting with . . 

How can one discern that a skipper/boat are so incompetent? 

We need some facts, otherwise you have nothing.  

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1 hour ago, ryley said:

I need the help of the SA collective here. I'm looking for real-world examples that other organizing authorities have taken under similar circumstances.

Has anyone ever had to deny entry to a boat or skipper because they simply could not adequately handle their boat in race conditions or didn't have a good enough grasp on the rules? I'm not talking about juniors, but big boats in both beer can situations and weekend series racing. Also, anyone who knows me knows that what I want to do is promote sailing, and I understand that we want to be inclusive and to teach whenever we can. Those options have been explored, so I only need to know how you handled the extreme situation of not allowing someone to race.

If you did deny entry, how did you structure the denial? I want to make sure that *if* I have to take an action like this that I'm on solid footing.

Thank you in advance.

Does the organizing authority have some verbiage in the NOR that acceptance of entry is at their discretion?

Is there some incident in the recent history of the boat/skipper you are thinking of barring from entry?

This seems like a very uncomfortable spot to be in.

FB- Doug

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Check rule 76.1.

I’ve never had to do it, though I came close once when a large boat showed up at a big regatta where I pretty much knew the skipper was sailing single-handed (in a regatta where a large single-handed boat would be entirely inappropriate). I had a chat with the skipper and pointed out that we couldn’t accept an entry like that, so suddenly a mystery crew member came into being, so I aquiesced with a stern warning about safety and staying out of the way of other fully-crewed boats. Strangely, the mystery crew member was never seen, apparently because of sea-sickness.

After one race, the skipper came to us and declared that he was out of the rest of the regatta, thanked us very much, and joined the parties for the rest of the week, though I never met the mystery crew member.

There is s rule that allows you to refuse an entry, but don’t use it if you can find a way to both keep your entrant happy and maintain the integrity of your event.

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4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Does the organizing authority have some verbiage in the NOR that acceptance of entry is at their discretion?

Is there some incident in the recent history of the boat/skipper you are thinking of barring from entry?

This seems like a very uncomfortable spot to be in.

The above are not relevant.

The OA or race committee has the discretion to exclude a boat, without any need to assert it in the NOR.

The OA or race committee is not required to 'justify' it's reason for exclusion as 'legitimate', once it has stated it.

Rule 76.1 with US Sailing Prescription

76

EXCLUSION OF BOATS OR COMPETITORS
 
 
76.1
The organizing authority or the race committee may reject or cancel the entry of a boat or exclude a competitor, subject to rule 76.3, provided it does so before the start of the first race and states the reason for doing so. On request the boat shall promptly be given the reason in writing. The boat may request redress if she considers that the rejection or exclusion is improper.
 US53 
US Sailing prescribes that an organizing authority or race committee shall not reject or cancel the entry of a boat or exclude a competitor eligible under the notice of race and sailing instructions for an arbitrary or capricious reason or for reason of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or age.

 

US Sailing Appeal 53

 
Rule 76.1, Exclusion of Boats or Competitors

Hevn Request for Redress

The organizing authority or the race committee may reject or cancel the entry of a boat so long as it states its reason for doing so and complies with the prescription to rule 76.1.
Facts and Decision of the Protest Committee
The “Race Instructions for Auxiliary Boats” did not contain any specific eligibility requirements for the Twilight Series, an event for offshore boats, but did require that each boat have a valid PHRF rating certificate and that all boats meet the safety standards of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations for a Category 4 race. The race committee rejected the entry of Hevn, a modified Etchells 22, stating: “Since our course designations include areas in the Atlantic Ocean and the Race Committee doesn’t feel your craft is an offshore vessel, the Race Committee is rejecting your entry into this series.” Hevn requested redress, claiming that the action was discriminatory and that she held a valid PHRF rating and met the requirements of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations for a Category 4 race. Neither of these claims was disputed, but the protest committee upheld the decision of the race committee and denied Hevn's request for redress.
 

Hevn appealed, stating that the action was unjust and discriminatory, that she met the requirements of the sailing instructions, and that similar boats had been accepted in other offshore events. She also contended that rule 76.1 requires a “legitimate” reason for rejecting an entry.

Decision of the Appeals Committee
This event was for offshore boats. The race committee concluded that Hevn was not an offshore boat in the generally accepted meaning of the term, and therefore was not suitable for the event. In the absence of specific eligibility requirements in the sailing instructions, the committee used rule 76.1 to reject Hevn’s entry. In doing so it stated the reason, thereby complying with the rule.
 
The appellant’s belief that the rule requires a “legitimate” reason is incorrect. Rule 76.1 does not state or imply any qualitative tests for the acceptability of the reason other than that the reason cannot be arbitrary or capricious or based on race, color, religion, gender, age or national origin (see the prescription to rule 76.1). A race committee has broad authority to make such judgments as it considers necessary to ensure that a race or regatta is conducted so as to follow the intentions of the organizing authority, as well as the rules governing the event.
 
Hevn’s appeal is denied. The decision of the protest committee is upheld, and Hevn’s entry remains rejected.

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An Ensign skipper was so bad in the 80’s that the local Cleveland fleet took him to court to keep him from racing. He had caused many avoidable collisions, etc. He was so bad that the judge forced him to sell his boat.

Japanese Guy

Boat named U Boat

We have a woman here in the same type of boat that causes collisions regularly. I won’t work on her boat anymore and the Wed night RC might ban her this year if they can muster up the balls. I make sure I stay far away from her even if that means missing a good start. I’ve been after them for a number of years, but I don’t think they will do anything until she plows through one of their boats.

 

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Thanks Brass, I appreciate the references. Steam, I don't want to get into too many details, but yes, it's a very uncomfortable situation. Despite the seeming clarity of 76 and its appeal, this does have the potential to get ugly fast, and it will be a last resort.

and Jammer, it's about racing, not race, so I think we're good. I never discriminate against gerunds.

1 hour ago, Sail4beer said:

took him to court

And that's exactly what I want to avoid. We're a small club and I don't think this is an expense we want to even consider. However, the alternative is losing other racers. Nice way to start the season, huh?

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very clear answer to your question :

yes, any organisation can refuse any entry to any sailor according to the RCV Rule 76.1

But the refused competitor is able to protest about that decision (in the rule itself)

 

That's it, cristal clear.

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8 hours ago, Shiny said:

There is s rule that allows you to refuse an entry, but don’t use it if you can find a way to both keep your entrant happy and maintain the integrity of your event.

Shiny, exactly. It's the integrity portion, which in my mind in part means ensuring the safety of the other competitors, that may be at odds with keeping a single entrant happy.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. 

AJ, I understand what you're saying. We've documented the skipper's incompetence in objective ways for the past few seasons. However, you don't really need to know those details - I'm more interested in real-world examples where an OA had to refuse an entrant to an event for something other than an equipment violation. I think Appeal 53 gets me where I need to go, if I need to go there.

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3 minutes ago, chorus1 said:

But the refused competitor is able to protest appeal that decision (in the rule itself)

fixed before the pedants get you. but I agree with you.

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2 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

An Ensign skipper was so bad in the 80’s that the local Cleveland fleet took him to court to keep him from racing. He had caused many avoidable collisions, etc. He was so bad that the judge forced him to sell his boat.

Japanese Guy

Boat named U Boat

We have a woman here in the same type of boat that causes collisions regularly. I won’t work on her boat anymore and the Wed night RC might ban her this year if they can muster up the balls. I make sure I stay far away from her even if that means missing a good start. I’ve been after them for a number of years, but I don’t think they will do anything until she plows through one of their boats.

 

Our Ensign fleet here is a regular demolition derby. They are heavy boats with tiny rudders, and everybody wants to drive it like a J-22.

 

29 minutes ago, ryley said:

Shiny, exactly. It's the integrity portion, which in my mind in part means ensuring the safety of the other competitors, that may be at odds with keeping a single entrant happy.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. 

AJ, I understand what you're saying. We've documented the skipper's incompetence in objective ways for the past few seasons. However, you don't really need to know those details - I'm more interested in real-world examples where an OA had to refuse an entrant to an event for something other than an equipment violation. I think Appeal 53 gets me where I need to go, if I need to go there.

Brass, for the win!

It's going to be very difficult to find a tactful way to kick somebody out of the sandbox. The only thing I can think of, is to suggest to the skipper that it would not be an enjoyable event for them and try to convince them. Maybe enlist the help of a family member? If it gets right down to it, tell them there won't be a race if they enter because the other skippers will withdraw. Offering another type of event they can participate in may or may not help

Anyway, I wish you luck

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, SailRacer said:

My only wish is that you could get the offender some crew that would help keep him out trouble..

SAIL SAFE!

Amen to that.

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i know of one club that ran their regatta as an invitational and simply stopped sending the offending owner an invite

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2 hours ago, ryley said:
2 hours ago, chorus1 said:

But the refused competitor is able to protest request redress if she considers that the rejection or exclusion is improper. (in the rule itself), and if she is dissatisfied with the outcome of the redress hearing may appeal that decision in accordance with rule 70.

fixed before the pedants get you. but I agree with you.

Fixed it again for you.

This is not pedantry.

The effect of the redress and appeal processes is that, in accordance with rule 3.3, they provide two levels of review of the club's decision, one at least totally external and independent of the club, before an aggrieved owner can successfully take the club to court.

3.1 (a) By participating or intending to participate in a race conducted under these rules, each competitor and boat owner agrees to accept these rules.
...
3.3 Acceptance of the rules includes agreement
(a) to be governed by the rules;
(b) to accept the penalties imposed and other action taken under the rules, subject to the appeal and review procedures provided in them, as the final determination of any matter arising under the rules;
(c) with respect to any such determination, not to resort to any court of law or tribunal not provided for in the rules; and

 

11 hours ago, Shiny said:

There is s rule that allows you to refuse an entry, but don’t use it if you can find a way to both keep your entrant happy and maintain the integrity of your event.

I don't agree that shying away from using rule 76 by relying on an 'invitational' event or other smartarsery is a good idea:  that could well be seen as acting in bad faith by a court.

4 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

took him to court to keep him from racing.

 

Rule 76 allows you to keep the boat from racing: what it doesn't do is enable you to keep the boat from sailing around in the middle of the races you are running, but if the club has acted in a progressive, reasoned, tactful, courteous way, this risk of unreasonable behaviour can be minimised.

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1 hour ago, Captain Snorin said:

Assuming that you were to ban the boat from competing, what would stop the boat from going around the buoys and not getting scored?

As Brass pointed out, nothing.

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Check out Davis Island Yacht Club in Florida's NOR and SIs for their Thursday Eve racing. Was in response to a case(s) of the above.

Dave Ellis

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8 minutes ago, sailwriter said:

Check out Davis Island Yacht Club in Florida's NOR and SIs for their Thursday Eve racing. Was in response to a case(s) of the above.

Dave Ellis

How might I do that?

Edit: http://www.diyc.org/images/documents/race_docs/2017_Thursday_Night_NOR_and_SIs.pdf

I don't see all that much in there that might help.

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15 hours ago, ryley said:

Has anyone ever had to deny entry to a boat or skipper because they simply could not adequately handle their boat in race conditions or didn't have a good enough grasp on the rules?

If that were the criteria for rejecting an entry (especially the rules thing) half of the boats in some of our Classes would be bootable.   Also, be aware 76.1 would have to be invoked for each race or series;  you can't ban the offender from submitting an entry, only reject the entry.

There's no rule that requires competitors adequately handle their boat while racing;  one would assume if they can't they'll either be DFL soon after the start or be protested when they break a rule. It's not the OA's or RC's job  to make judgments concerning a competitor's skills or rules knowledge and 76.1 reject his entry.  Note that Appeal 53  concerned the suitability of the competitor's boat, not the competence of the competitor.

 The onus is on the other boats in the fleet to protest your problem skipper *every time* he fouls them, and follow through with the protest.  Yah, it's a hassle, but it's the only way to reign in  rule  breakers, both the intentional assholes and the blissfully ignorant.

 I suspect the real problem here is Mr. X is involved in too many collisions,  a  valid safety and expense consideration.  But it takes two to tango; the right of way boat is also required to avoid contact (Rule 14); maybe others in the fleet need some polishing of their boat handling skills and rules knowledge.  Ya' don't have to grind fiberglass before throwing up the red flag;  instead, give way to Mr. X *before* contact and flag him.

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I heartily disagree with you axolotl. there is nothing in 76.1 that prevents an OA from rejecting an application based on the skill of the participants. As long as the reason doesn't violate one of the protected classes and isn't capricious, then it's valid. I, my club, and our insurance company have every right not to accept your money. *you* as a racing sailor do not have a 'right' to participate in our race.

I'd also like to point out that I appreciate some of your assumptions but they're not entirely accurate. Suffice to say this skipper is dangerous now and is moving into a boat that is 76 spm more dangerous.

The bottom line is that I hope it won't come to having to invoke 76, and I think there have been some thoughtful answers about other approaches to take. For all I know, it will all be irrelevant by the beginning of the season - let's hope so. As I stated earlier, the last thing I want to do is anything that potentially discourages participation. Thanks for everyone's input. 

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17 hours ago, ryley said:

I need the help of the SA collective here. I'm looking for real-world examples that other organizing authorities have taken under similar circumstances.

Has anyone ever had to deny entry to a boat or skipper because they simply could not adequately handle their boat in race conditions or didn't have a good enough grasp on the rules? I'm not talking about juniors, but big boats in both beer can situations and weekend series racing. Also, anyone who knows me knows that what I want to do is promote sailing, and I understand that we want to be inclusive and to teach whenever we can. Those options have been explored, so I only need to know how you handled the extreme situation of not allowing someone to race.

If you did deny entry, how did you structure the denial? I want to make sure that *if* I have to take an action like this that I'm on solid footing.

Thank you in advance.

This would eliminate 90% of the boats that are out there now;) 

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15 minutes ago, fucket said:

I assume Rule 29 is the supposed "fix" for the "bumper boat style competitor's" problem.  I don't like it.  It changes Rule 14, 44.1 and 44.3 without so stating.  It requires a quick judgement call of how much it'll cost to fix damage by the competitor.  It allows the "Fleet Captain" (not defined in the RRS) to DNE boats  based on some magical detection of contact not reported by the competitors involved.  It creates the requirement of  additional form submittals assuming no protest is submitted.

Basically, there's only three  post-race interactions with the OA and Committees competitors may pursue:  Retired after Finishing, Request for Redress, or Protest.  Taking a scoring penalty is accomplished by flying a yellow flag  as you cross the finish line, not after some post race decision which requires submitting a form.  The key here is any contact between boats necessarily implies a rule was broken which burdens the R/W boat to hail and file a Protest which must be heard (or if minor, and the rule breaker does her turns, the flag comes down).  Serious damage requires the boat which broke a rule immediately retire, no exceptions.  The DIYC Rule 29 seems to be an attempt to pussyfoot around what's already in the Racing Rules to  avoid the rigmarole of an actual protest hearing,  ostensibly to decrease collisions.  Lame.

 

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35 minutes ago, ryley said:

I, my club, and our insurance company have every right not to accept your money. *you* as a racing sailor do not have a 'right' to participate in our race.

I'd also like to point out that I appreciate some of your assumptions but they're not entirely accurate. Suffice to say this skipper is dangerous now and is moving into a boat that is 76 spm more dangerous.

Oh, but I do have every right to participate in your race assuming my entry is valid!

That's why Rule 76 exists.  Booting me using Rule 76 better clearly state the reasons more than I'm "dangerous", incompetent  and/or not a rules expert.  How will you defend yourself if I request a PC hearing?  A litany of hearsay concerning my bumbling incompetence in the past?  I'll  riposte'  by illuminating the past incompetence of others in my fleet.  And if your PC upholds the Rule 76 booting, it's appealable  to my national authority. Think you'll get validation there?

Being a lousy sailor is not a reason to deny my participation.  You do not have every right to not accept my entry;  rather, you must accept all valid entries or initiate a Rule 76 decision, which in this case will not hold water.  If you prevail, it'll establish a precedent that Clubs can look beyond the applicant's entry form for incompetent  behavior in past races, hearsay, "we don't want this guy around, he's dangerous" blather, etc.  We've all done dumb stuff on the racecourse and I'd be disheartened if some Club denied entry to me because of past transgressions.  I mean really, has this guy killed anybody?  Has he been in contention for season honors?  Does he pay for damages to other boats he's caused (BTW, don't go after the owner for damages if he's an asshole, deal directly with his insurance company)?

So, Mr. X is getting a bigger faster cooler boat.  Irrelevant;  I've crewed on boats with minus PHRF  ratings and  the competition is much more savvy, but the fleet still has its bumbling incompetents which dominate DFL and are generally only a problem at the starts.  It could be a blessing for all as Mr. X gets repeatedly spanked by the competition, has trouble t-boning anybody because they dodge him and pop the red flag every time.  Different than the Wet Wednesday  bottom scrapers who think yelling is equivalent to hailing protest,  and don't have the balls to follow through with a protest because, well, they're not rules experts.

One question.  You imply your insurance company has the right to demand a particular competitor's entry for a given race be denied.  I've been on the Board of a local yacht club for over a decade and not once heard of such an action.  I call bullshit.

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2 hours ago, axolotl said:

Oh, but I do have every right to participate in your race assuming my entry is valid!

No, you do not, whatever 'entry is valid' might mean.

If you are among those to whom the Notice of Race is addressed and comply with the requirements of the Organising Authority, you have every right to enter a race, in accordance with rule 75.1

The organising authority or the race committee has a right, limited only by rule 76, and any MNA prescription thereto, to reject or cancel the entry of a boat before the start of the first race.

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We are approaching a similar concern as some of our more senior members seem to have senior moments on the course.

It's one thing to have a novice who's educable; another to have > 50 yrs of experience that apparently can't see the weather mark or starboard tackers, and won't/can't hear hails. 

Some of these folks have been racing the same boat for decades. The collisions so far have not caused injury, but there have been some yard bills. 

 

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3 hours ago, axolotl said:

Oh, but I do have every right to participate in your race assuming my entry is valid!

That's why Rule 76 exists.  Booting me using Rule 76 better clearly state the reasons more than I'm "dangerous", incompetent  and/or not a rules expert.  How will you defend yourself if I request a PC hearing?  A litany of hearsay concerning my bumbling incompetence in the past?  I'll  riposte'  by illuminating the past incompetence of others in my fleet.  And if your PC upholds the Rule 76 booting, it's appealable  to my national authority. Think you'll get validation there?

Being a lousy sailor is not a reason to deny my participation.  You do not have every right to not accept my entry;  rather, you must accept all valid entries or initiate a Rule 76 decision, which in this case will not hold water.  If you prevail, it'll establish a precedent that Clubs can look beyond the applicant's entry form for incompetent  behavior in past races, hearsay, "we don't want this guy around, he's dangerous" blather, etc.  We've all done dumb stuff on the racecourse and I'd be disheartened if some Club denied entry to me because of past transgressions.  I mean really, has this guy killed anybody?  Has he been in contention for season honors?  Does he pay for damages to other boats he's caused (BTW, don't go after the owner for damages if he's an asshole, deal directly with his insurance company)?

So, Mr. X is getting a bigger faster cooler boat.  Irrelevant;  I've crewed on boats with minus PHRF  ratings and  the competition is much more savvy, but the fleet still has its bumbling incompetents which dominate DFL and are generally only a problem at the starts.  It could be a blessing for all as Mr. X gets repeatedly spanked by the competition, has trouble t-boning anybody because they dodge him and pop the red flag every time.  Different than the Wet Wednesday  bottom scrapers who think yelling is equivalent to hailing protest,  and don't have the balls to follow through with a protest because, well, they're not rules experts.

One question.  You imply your insurance company has the right to demand a particular competitor's entry for a given race be denied.  I've been on the Board of a local yacht club for over a decade and not once heard of such an action.  I call bullshit.

you can call whatever you want. The rule is clear, and I'm not providing any more actual details about the situation. you're entitled to your opinion, but I have the answers I need.

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12 hours ago, ryley said:

and Jammer, it's about racing, not race, so I think we're good.

If that were true there'd be no problem.

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10 hours ago, Brass said:
 

 

21 hours ago, Shiny said:

There is s rule that allows you to refuse an entry, but don’t use it if you can find a way to both keep your entrant happy and maintain the integrity of your event.

I don't agree that shying away from using rule 76 by relying on an 'invitational' event or other smartarsery is a good idea:  that could well be seen as acting in bad faith by a court.

I don’t think you understood my sentence. I am specifically NOT suggesting using invitationals or any other kind of arsefoolery. I am suggesting talking to your would-be competitor about the reasons that you do not want to accept their entry, and trying to deal with it without getting to the stage of using 76.1. That is the opposite of acting in bad faith, it is good management, and good practice.

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In similar situations, albeit unrelated to sailing but as a Board president and again as employer, I've informally spoken to the problem person as a friendly gesture, not to create bad blood etc., and explained that, barring a face saving withdrawal, publicly embarrassing events are in the offing which neither party should welcome, explaining  exactly why the body has come to this decision and suggest that the best course of action would be to withdraw their intent / action.  You've then done as best you've could  to quietly alleviate the problem so if that fails then proceed to what must come next as outlined by Brass.  If the consensus is to not allow, do not shy away from what must be done, come what may.

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they tell me we can't discriminate based on race, religion, sexual orientation, handicap status etc but we are talking about a PRIVATE club sponsored event and there is no law precluding discrimination against unqualified dumb-asses who want to sail large yachts without crew at the peril of other yachts  and without respect for the  obvious  "why can't the guy find crew" question should be asked 

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At some point, there will a “racing license” required to enter races. It’s another way for US Sailing to sell more coaching programs and certifications, and a way to require membership of probably everyone who steps aboard. 

All they have to do is get their insurance program to require it. And yes there are other insurance programs available, but most clubs default to the US Sailing endorsed (read premium kick back through sponsorship) program.

So with that licensing requirement, it will be very easy to never give someone a license to race. Hence, no hackers on the course. 

Of course, people can then form their own racing clubs outside of US Sailing’s influence, which is exactly what this sport needs.

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One suggestion may be to get your club to provide competent crew to this skipper so that they can educate him to be a safe and active racer.  If he refuses the crew or he declines to listen to good advice on the boat, then I would say that your position to refuse his entry would be much stronger and less at risk from redress or appeal hearings.  As long as it is documented, and as long as you can find crew who are willing to sail with him.....

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19 hours ago, axolotl said:

I assume Rule 29 is the supposed "fix" for the "bumper boat style competitor's" problem.  I don't like it.  It changes Rule 14, 44.1 and 44.3 without so stating.  It requires a quick judgement call of how much it'll cost to fix damage by the competitor.  It allows the "Fleet Captain" (not defined in the RRS) to DNE boats  based on some magical detection of contact not reported by the competitors involved.  It creates the requirement of  additional form submittals assuming no protest is submitted.

Basically, there's only three  post-race interactions with the OA and Committees competitors may pursue:  Retired after Finishing, Request for Redress, or Protest.  Taking a scoring penalty is accomplished by flying a yellow flag  as you cross the finish line, not after some post race decision which requires submitting a form.  The key here is any contact between boats necessarily implies a rule was broken which burdens the R/W boat to hail and file a Protest which must be heard (or if minor, and the rule breaker does her turns, the flag comes down).  Serious damage requires the boat which broke a rule immediately retire, no exceptions.  The DIYC Rule 29 seems to be an attempt to pussyfoot around what's already in the Racing Rules to  avoid the rigmarole of an actual protest hearing,  ostensibly to decrease collisions.  Lame.

 

Totally agree.

As a race officer I hesitate to change any RRS and then only by referring to it by number.

If there is a collision involving injury or worse, let the worldwide standard rules go to court, not me!

Dave Ellis

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Legal definition of arbitrary & capricious: "A rule is arbitrary if it is not supported by logic or the necessary facts; a rule is capricious if it is adopted without thought or reason or is irrational".

So I think you tell this competitor (in writing, if he requests it) that his entry is rejected on the basis that several of his fellow competitors have stated that they consider him to be hazardous on the race course and that they will not race if his boat is entered. It's the considered assessment of the club that accepting his entry would hurt the overall event.  You've demonstrated sufficient logic, facts, thought and reason so your decision is not arbitrary or capricious and meets the standard set forth in the U.S. Sailing prescription to 76.1.

If he tried to take you to court it seems like pointing to Rule 3.3-c would get the case dismissed very quickly. Plus the fact that there's no illegal discrimination and no damages.

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Just put them in a class of one and give them a nice little trophy

 

Oh and send them on a course that will take about 10 hours away from the other boats. 

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17 hours ago, VWAP said:

Just put them in a class of one and give them a nice little trophy

 

Oh and send them on a course that will take about 10 hours away from the other boats. 

We do start the Non-Spinnaker class  (which I compete in) first, and run in descending rating, which has merit in reducing chaos at the start and getting most people in by dark.  Generally the slower boats get passed mid course, though occasionally some marks get congested. If the RC is on their game, they can deconflict by course selection. 

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23 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Legal definition of arbitrary & capricious: "A rule is arbitrary if it is not supported by logic or the necessary facts; a rule is capricious if it is adopted without thought or reason or is irrational".

So I think you tell this competitor (in writing, if he requests it) that his entry is rejected on the basis that several of his fellow competitors have stated that they consider him to be hazardous on the race course and that they will not race if his boat is entered. It's the considered assessment of the club that accepting his entry would hurt the overall event.  You've demonstrated sufficient logic, facts, thought and reason so your decision is not arbitrary or capricious and meets the standard set forth in the U.S. Sailing prescription to 76.1.

If he tried to take you to court it seems like pointing to Rule 3.3-c would get the case dismissed very quickly. Plus the fact that there's no illegal discrimination and no damages.

I assume "hurt the overall event" concerns -> if Mr. X races, 2 or more others won't, which decreases the total number of boats racing.  Is fleet size the criterion of how successful an event is?  The idea that 2 or more competitors can threaten to pick up their jacks and leave if  Mr. X isn't booted and prompt the OA to boot him smells like a witch hunt to me.  

And you're missing key parts of the 76.1 process.   No courts  would be involved.

Mr. X, if he wanted to push it, is entitled to a PC hearing (Rule 76.3) concerning his entry rejection,  which, one would assume, be a findings of fact affair and could get messy if Mr. X demands the complainers are called as witnesses, as they should be because they're the reason his entry was denied.  It'd  be embarrassing if the OA  refused to proffer the complainer's statements, saying only that "little bird(s) told me so."

If the PC upholds the entry rejection, Mr. X is entitled to Appeal (Rule 70.1) to his national authority  (US Sailing) contesting the PC's decision or its procedures.  One would think he would, having just acquired a faster boat.  Believe me, having been through an Appeal (we won),  it's a big hassle (although apparently it can be done through videoconferencing & emails, etc., now), involves massive paperwork from all involved, and takes time (four months in my experience).

I'll go out on a limb here and state that based on your hypothetical situation  the NA would overturn the OA's rejection of Mr. X's entry.

Riley's original scenario ("We determine Mr. X can't handle his boat  and doesn't know the rules"), after further contemplation I'm on the fence now.  The NA's decision would probably hinge on whether the stated reason for rejection was arbitrary.  Are other competitors in Mr. X's fleet poor boat handlers and hazy on the rules?  If upheld, it would set a precedent that an OA could reject an entry  on a whim by simply stating they think a Mr. X is a lousy sailboat racer, even if the real reason is he's an asshole or an OA official has a personal beef with Mr. X.  Quite the can of worms if you ask me.  OTOH,  maybe Riley is right and Rule 76.1 has no teeth; fundamentally an OA can reject any entry by going through the motion of stating a reason other than race, religion, etc.

I'd be interested to know the answer,  and might cough up $25 and request an interpretation of Riley's intended 76.1 action to  the NA per Rule 70.4.  

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On 5/11/2018 at 7:06 AM, axolotl said:

Oh, but I do have every right to participate in your race assuming my entry is valid!

See Post #26

That's why Rule 76 exists.  Booting me using Rule 76 better clearly state the reasons more than I'm "dangerous", incompetent  and/or not a rules expert.

No, see US Sailing Appeal 53 quoted in full above.  Exactly those reasons will fulfil the requirements of rule 76.

How will you defend yourself if I request a PC hearing?

No person is required to 'defend' themselves in a hearing of a request for redress.

The starting point of such a hearing would be that the boat requesting redress should identify which of the four possible grounds for redress listed in rule 62.1( a ) to ( d ) they consider applies.  Clearly enough they will be relying on ground ( a ):  improper action.

The boat requesting redress would then be required to identify the action which they consider improper and explain why they consider it improper, providing evidence to support their contention.

Rule 76, and the US Sailing prescripton and Appeal 53 make it clear that, assuming that the nuts and bolts of the reason being stated, promptly in writing if requested, and compliance with the exceptions in rules 76.2 and 76.3 have been complied with, the only remaining sources of impropriety are those stated in the US Sailing prescription, namely  arbitrary or capricious reason or for reason of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or age.

A litany of hearsay

A protest committee is not a court of law.  The Rules of Evidence including the hearsay rule do not apply.  A protest committee is absolutely at liberty to accept hearsay evidence and attache whatever weight to it that it reasonably chooses, including making a non-appellable finding of fact based on that hearsay.

concerning my bumbling incompetence in the past?  I'll  riposte'  by illuminating the past incompetence of others in my fleet.

A hearing of a request for redress is required to address the existence of the grounds for redress enumerated in rule 62.1:  it's function is to establish whether an improper action has occurred.  It is NOT a review of the merits of a decision properly made.

  And if your PC upholds the Rule 76 booting, it's appealable  to my national authority. Think you'll get validation there?

I expect that an Appeal Committee will apply rule 76 and Appeal 53.

Being a lousy sailor is not a reason to deny my participation.

Of course it's a reason.  It may, debatably, be not a good reason, but it's a reason, and it is clearly not arbitrary, capricious or based on race, colour, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or age, so it's not an improper reason.

 You do not have every right to not accept my entry;  rather, you must accept all valid entries or initiate a Rule 76 decision,

Nonsense.  Rule 76 is a procedural rule specifying the procedures associated with the cancellation or rejection of an entry.

which in this case will not hold water.

Certainly not demonstrated in this post.

  If you prevail, it'll establish a precedent that Clubs can look beyond the applicant's entry form for incompetent  behavior in past races, hearsay, "we don't want this guy around, he's dangerous" blather, etc.

Yes, that's exactly what Case 53 says.

We've all done dumb stuff on the racecourse and I'd be disheartened if some Club denied entry to me because of past transgressions.  I mean really, has this guy killed anybody?  Has he been in contention for season honors?  Does he pay for damages to other boats he's caused (BTW, don't go after the owner for damages if he's an asshole, deal directly with his insurance company)?

Those are just the sorts of behaviours that a voluntary unincorporated association is absolutely entitled to consider in making decisions, until such time as a statutory law, regulation, or rule prohibits them from doing so.

 

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3 hours ago, Brass said:

Of course it's a reason.  It may, debatably, be not a good reason, but it's a reason, and it is clearly not arbitrary, capricious or based on race, colour, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or age, so it's not an improper reason.

 Yes, Some events have qualifiers (races) to determine competence 

 

Also not mentioned the request for redress should be at the time the entry is denied, not after the race 

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On 5/10/2018 at 5:06 PM, axolotl said:

  Does he pay for damages to other boats he's caused (BTW, don't go after the owner for damages if he's an asshole, deal directly with his insurance company)?

This advice could get you in trouble.  If your boat is damaged in a regatta you must protest, properly, and successfully, or you may find that you are screwed if you try to bring a claim later, particularly in the US 1st Circuit.  Do not avoid the conflict of the protest room thinking you can successfully bring an insurance claim later.  

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3 hours ago, Brass said:
On 5/11/2018 at 7:06 AM, axolotl said:

Oh, but I do have every right to participate in your race assuming my entry is valid!

See Post #26

That's why Rule 76 exists.  Booting me using Rule 76 better clearly state the reasons more than I'm "dangerous", incompetent  and/or not a rules expert.

No, see US Sailing Appeal 53 quoted in full above.  Exactly those reasons will fulfil the requirements of rule 76.

How will you defend yourself if I request a PC hearing?

No person is required to 'defend' themselves in a hearing of a request for redress.

The starting point of such a hearing would be that the boat requesting redress should identify which of the four possible grounds for redress listed in rule 62.1( a ) to ( d ) they consider applies.  Clearly enough they will be relying on ground ( a ):  improper action.

The boat requesting redress would then be required to identify the action which they consider improper and explain why they consider it improper, providing evidence to support their contention.

Rule 76, and the US Sailing prescripton and Appeal 53 make it clear that, assuming that the nuts and bolts of the reason being stated, promptly in writing if requested, and compliance with the exceptions in rules 76.2 and 76.3 have been complied with, the only remaining sources of impropriety are those stated in the US Sailing prescription, namely  arbitrary or capricious reason or for reason of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or age.

A litany of hearsay

A protest committee is not a court of law.  The Rules of Evidence including the hearsay rule do not apply.  A protest committee is absolutely at liberty to accept hearsay evidence and attache whatever weight to it that it reasonably chooses, including making a non-appellable finding of fact based on that hearsay.

concerning my bumbling incompetence in the past?  I'll  riposte'  by illuminating the past incompetence of others in my fleet.

A hearing of a request for redress is required to address the existence of the grounds for redress enumerated in rule 62.1:  it's function is to establish whether an improper action has occurred.  It is NOT a review of the merits of a decision properly made.

  And if your PC upholds the Rule 76 booting, it's appealable  to my national authority. Think you'll get validation there?

I expect that an Appeal Committee will apply rule 76 and Appeal 53.

Being a lousy sailor is not a reason to deny my participation.

Of course it's a reason.  It may, debatably, be not a good reason, but it's a reason, and it is clearly not arbitrary, capricious or based on race, colour, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or age, so it's not an improper reason.

 You do not have every right to not accept my entry;  rather, you must accept all valid entries or initiate a Rule 76 decision,

Nonsense.  Rule 76 is a procedural rule specifying the procedures associated with the cancellation or rejection of an entry.

which in this case will not hold water.

Certainly not demonstrated in this post.

  If you prevail, it'll establish a precedent that Clubs can look beyond the applicant's entry form for incompetent  behavior in past races, hearsay, "we don't want this guy around, he's dangerous" blather, etc.

Yes, that's exactly what Case 53 says.

We've all done dumb stuff on the racecourse and I'd be disheartened if some Club denied entry to me because of past transgressions.  I mean really, has this guy killed anybody?  Has he been in contention for season honors?  Does he pay for damages to other boats he's caused (BTW, don't go after the owner for damages if he's an asshole, deal directly with his insurance company)?

Those are just the sorts of behaviours that a voluntary unincorporated association is absolutely entitled to consider in making decisions, until such time as a statutory law, regulation, or rule prohibits them from doing so.

 

Should also have said, if the decision is infected by malice or improper purpose, it will also be improper.

Thus, if a report of incompetence could be shown to be made as a result of, say, racial or religious bigotry, then the decision based solely on that report would be invalid.

50 minutes ago, VWAP said:

Also not mentioned the request for redress should be at the time the entry is denied, not after the race 

Rule 62.2 requires the request to be delivered as soon as reasonably possible after learning of the reasons for making the request.  That might be after the first race, but I would have some reservations about accepting 'participating' in the race for which entry had been rejected or cancelled, as a reason for delay in delivering the request.

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4 minutes ago, sshow bob said:

This advice could get you in trouble.  If your boat is damaged in a regatta you must protest, properly, and successfully, or you may find that you are screwed if you try to bring a claim later, particularly in the US 1st Circuit.  Do not avoid the conflict of the protest room thinking you can successfully bring an insurance claim later.  

Interesting.

What are the boundaries of the US 1st Circuit? and can you post the relevant decision?

Was the point well argued?

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Sure - for the record, seek you own legal advice, etc. 

The First Circuit includes the Districts of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island.  The decision is Juno SRL v s/v Endeavor.  Juno v. Endeavor  Essentially, it stands for the proposition that when you enter a race, you agree to a contract in which the RRS supplant the COLREGS; and, in which you agree to binding arbitration in the form of the protest system.  The risk is that if you don't protest, and follow that process to an appropriate outcome, then you may waive your trial right against the other boat.  In that case, that boat may not be liable, and its insurer may not pay.  Your insurer may decide that you waived its ability to seek payment from the other boat, and that you've voided your policy as a result.

So - if you're in a collision, or otherwise suffer damage as the result of the actions of another boat / skipper, protest.  

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Thanks.  I follow that.

Given the US Sailing prescribes

No protest committee or US Sailing appeal authority shall adjudicate any claim for damages. Such a claim is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts.

I have doubts that a court would hold that the scope of a protest hearing 'arbitration' was sufficient to determine an issue of damages.

But on the face of the judgement, that's the way it looks.

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7 hours ago, sshow bob said:

Sure - for the record, seek you own legal advice, etc. 

The First Circuit includes the Districts of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island.  The decision is Juno SRL v s/v Endeavor.  Juno v. Endeavor  Essentially, it stands for the proposition that when you enter a race, you agree to a contract in which the RRS supplant the COLREGS; and, in which you agree to binding arbitration in the form of the protest system.  The risk is that if you don't protest, and follow that process to an appropriate outcome, then you may waive your trial right against the other boat.  In that case, that boat may not be liable, and its insurer may not pay.  Your insurer may decide that you waived its ability to seek payment from the other boat, and that you've voided your policy as a result.

So - if you're in a collision, or otherwise suffer damage as the result of the actions of another boat / skipper, protest.  

Not the law in Australia before anyone gets too excited.

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My mistake by omission. Protest committee arbitrates liability only, not damages. But controls on liability. 

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On 5/13/2018 at 7:33 PM, sshow bob said:

Protest committee arbitrates liability only, not damages. But controls on liability. 

Interestingly, the Chief Judge for the First Circuit in the Juno v. Endeavor case was Juan Torruella, a former Puerto Rican Olympic sailor (Finn '64, FD '68 & '72, and Soling '76) and current sailing IJ, as well as an appeals court judge (he lives in Duxbury, MA and Puerto Rico). His finding in that case helped to establish the dividing line (in the USA) between sailing juries being credited by civil courts as experts in determining fault under the racing rules, but not in determining damages (disputes as to damages are left to the courts, as Bob notes). We're lucky that the case that established the caselaw precedent was presided over by someone so knowledgeable.

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22 minutes ago, Katydid said:

Interestingly, the Chief Judge for the First Circuit in the Juno v. Endeavor case was Juan Torruella, a former Puerto Rican Olympic sailor (Finn '64, FD '68 & '72, and Soling '76) and current sailing IJ, as well as an appeals court judge (he lives in Duxbury, MA and Puerto Rico). His finding in that case helped to establish the dividing line (in the USA) between sailing juries being credited by civil courts as experts in determining fault under the racing rules, but not in determining damages (disputes as to damages are left to the courts, as Bob notes). We're lucky that the case that established the caselaw precedent was presided over by someone so knowledgeable.

Is therea line of judicial decisions following Tourella j? 

Outside the 1st Circuit?

Specifically the bolded bit above? 

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Brass, I'm not aware of any following decisions. My understanding is that one has done it in the US, and hasn't been challenged to date, but I'm not a lawyer, and wouldn't claim a comprehensive knowledge of the case law. I understand Clean is a lawyer - maybe he would know?

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Thanks Katydid.

I'm hoping that SSBob or someone with access to Lexis/Nexis can answer easily enough.

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Brass, will you settle for Westlaw?

It looks like both VA and NY follow the Juneau decision.  It also looks like the 4th circuit, and the federal district courts for CA and Hawai'i have made similar decisions.  I could not find any case in which a Court ruled that the decision of a protest committee was not binding as to liability.  I have no way to check for instances where an insurer paid a claim even where there had been no protest. If I am in a collision I am going to protest.

(Internet forum posts are no substitute for legal advice.  You should check the controlling law in your jurisdiction, and make appropriate decisions based on your own understanding of the law, and the facts of your circumstances.  In the event of a catastrophic loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will deploy from the overhead.  Fit your mask before assisting others.) 

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2 hours ago, Katydid said:

Brass, I'm not aware of any following decisions. My understanding is that one has done it in the US, and hasn't been challenged to date, but I'm not a lawyer, and wouldn't claim a comprehensive knowledge of the case law. I understand Clean is a lawyer - maybe he would know?

That’s a good one!

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On 5/10/2018 at 4:10 AM, Brass said:

The above are not relevant.

The OA or race committee has the discretion to exclude a boat, without any need to assert it in the NOR.

The OA or race committee is not required to 'justify' it's reason for exclusion as 'legitimate', once it has stated it.

Rule 76.1 with US Sailing Prescription

76

EXCLUSION OF BOATS OR COMPETITORS
 
 
76.1
The organizing authority or the race committee may reject or cancel the entry of a boat or exclude a competitor, subject to rule 76.3, provided it does so before the start of the first race and states the reason for doing so. On request the boat shall promptly be given the reason in writing. The boat may request redress if she considers that the rejection or exclusion is improper.
 US53 
US Sailing prescribes that an organizing authority or race committee shall not reject or cancel the entry of a boat or exclude a competitor eligible under the notice of race and sailing instructions for an arbitrary or capricious reason or for reason of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or age.

 

US Sailing Appeal 53

 
Rule 76.1, Exclusion of Boats or Competitors

Hevn Request for Redress

The organizing authority or the race committee may reject or cancel the entry of a boat so long as it states its reason for doing so and complies with the prescription to rule 76.1.
Facts and Decision of the Protest Committee
The “Race Instructions for Auxiliary Boats” did not contain any specific eligibility requirements for the Twilight Series, an event for offshore boats, but did require that each boat have a valid PHRF rating certificate and that all boats meet the safety standards of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations for a Category 4 race. The race committee rejected the entry of Hevn, a modified Etchells 22, stating: “Since our course designations include areas in the Atlantic Ocean and the Race Committee doesn’t feel your craft is an offshore vessel, the Race Committee is rejecting your entry into this series.” Hevn requested redress, claiming that the action was discriminatory and that she held a valid PHRF rating and met the requirements of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations for a Category 4 race. Neither of these claims was disputed, but the protest committee upheld the decision of the race committee and denied Hevn's request for redress.
 

Hevn appealed, stating that the action was unjust and discriminatory, that she met the requirements of the sailing instructions, and that similar boats had been accepted in other offshore events. She also contended that rule 76.1 requires a “legitimate” reason for rejecting an entry.

Decision of the Appeals Committee
This event was for offshore boats. The race committee concluded that Hevn was not an offshore boat in the generally accepted meaning of the term, and therefore was not suitable for the event. In the absence of specific eligibility requirements in the sailing instructions, the committee used rule 76.1 to reject Hevn’s entry. In doing so it stated the reason, thereby complying with the rule.
 
The appellant’s belief that the rule requires a “legitimate” reason is incorrect. Rule 76.1 does not state or imply any qualitative tests for the acceptability of the reason other than that the reason cannot be arbitrary or capricious or based on race, color, religion, gender, age or national origin (see the prescription to rule 76.1). A race committee has broad authority to make such judgments as it considers necessary to ensure that a race or regatta is conducted so as to follow the intentions of the organizing authority, as well as the rules governing the event.
 
Hevn’s appeal is denied. The decision of the protest committee is upheld, and Hevn’s entry remains rejected.

Well this sort of does really fully apply to the OP.  The case you copied/pasted was an exclusion of a boat based on the boats lack of suitability for a particular race.  It would be very dicey to exclude a competitor based on his/her level of skill.  How would you prove his/her lack of skill in comparison with other competitors allowed to participate.  Atr best you could find yourself on a slippery slope - worst - you could be sliding at high speed.  In addition to the RRS it may also run afoul of the Ted Stevens Act and could mean a long, expensive legal battle if the competitor in question wants to make a case out of it.

 

I know several OA's that have had similar situations and looked at the legal (both in terms of RRS and the Ted Stevens Act) ways to exclude particular competitors come to the conclusion that they either have to write the eligibility requirements such that they include/exclude on a group (as in a non-individual) basis OR make the event an invitational and simply not invite an individual boat/competitor to compete 

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31 minutes ago, Christian said:

Well this sort of doesn't really fully apply to the OP.  The case you copied/pasted was an exclusion of a boat based on the boats lack of suitability for a particular race.  It would be very dicey to exclude a competitor based on his/her level of skill.  How would you prove his/her lack of skill in comparison with other competitors allowed to participate.  Atr best you could find yourself on a slippery slope - worst - you could be sliding at high speed.  In addition to the RRS it may also run afoul of the Ted Stevens Act and could mean a long, expensive legal battle if the competitor in question wants to make a case out of it.

 

I know several OA's that have had similar situations and looked at the legal (both in terms of RRS and the Ted Stevens Act) ways to exclude particular competitors come to the conclusion that they either have to write the eligibility requirements such that they include/exclude on a group (as in: not a particular identified individual) basis OR make the event an invitational and simply not invite an individual boat/competitor to compete 

Edit due to typing on my damn iPad

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1 hour ago, Christian said:
On 5/10/2018 at 6:10 PM, Brass said:

the committee used rule 76.1 to reject Hevn’s entry. In doing so it stated the reason, thereby complying with the rule.

 
The appellant’s belief that the rule requires a “legitimate” reason is incorrect. Rule 76.1 does not state or imply any qualitative tests for the acceptability of the reason other than that the reason cannot be arbitrary or capricious or based on race, color, religion, gender, age or national origin (see the prescription to rule 76.1). A race committee has broad authority to make such judgments as it considers necessary to ensure that a race or regatta is conducted so as to follow the intentions of the organizing authority, as well as the rules governing the event.

Well this sort of doesn't really fully apply to the OP.  The case you copied/pasted was an exclusion of a boat based on the boats lack of suitability for a particular race.  It would be very dicey to exclude a competitor based on his/her level of skill.  How would you prove his/her lack of skill in comparison with other competitors allowed to participate.  Atr best you could find yourself on a slippery slope - worst - you could be sliding at high speed.  In addition to the RRS it may also run afoul of the Ted Stevens Act and could mean a long, expensive legal battle if the competitor in question wants to make a case out of it.

I know several OA's that have had similar situations and looked at the legal (both in terms of RRS and the Ted Stevens Act) ways to exclude particular competitors come to the conclusion that they either have to write the eligibility requirements such that they include/exclude on a group (as in: not a particular identified individual) basis OR make the event an invitational and simply not invite an individual boat/competitor to compete 

I've edited the case I cited to show what I think is the nub, or principle, of the decision.

I am in no position to debate the arcana of the Ted Stevens Act, but I can only assume the the US Sailing Prescription to rule 78 and the US Sailing Appeal cited have taken the Act into account.

It seems to me that the OA's you are referring to may have been excessively cautious, and relying on worst-case hypotheticals, rather than any decided law.

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28 minutes ago, Brass said:

I've edited the case I cited to show what I think is the nub, or principle, of the decision.

I am in no position to debate the arcana of the Ted Stevens Act, but I can only assume the the US Sailing Prescription to rule 78 and the US Sailing Appeal cited have taken the Act into account.

It seems to me that the OA's you are referring to may have been excessively cautious, and relying on worst-case hypotheticals, rather than any decided law.

I have talked with the peeps that made those calls and it was not done without a fair bit of research and the group included several IJ's.  Sure they wanted to make absolutely sure they were on firm ground for two reasons - they wanted to play fair, and it happened in Fairfield County where ego's (and money) are in ample supply to feed nasty lawsuits.  They had identified issues both with the RRS and the TSA.

 

I would, personally, not rely on an assumption that USS has cleared this with regards to the TSA.

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Am I the only one willing to admit that there was a time when I probably shouldn’t have been on the race course? How would this person regain entry? In general opposed to denying entry to participants. The required burden of proof would be too high to me. You’re essentially saying you’d support a lifetime ban for this competitor (assuming this single event isn’t something out of the ordinary). In any other sport that is an extremely high bar to clear. Without any information about proof and attempted corrective actions, I don’t agree with it.

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On 5/10/2018 at 1:02 PM, AJ Oliver said:

We need a lot more information - starting with . . 

How can one discern that a skipper/boat are so incompetent? 

We need some facts, otherwise you have nothing.  

Hey well done AJ, you posted with out ranting about white privilege.  You are still a Dickhead but you are coming on...

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