mccroc

Race Committe Question

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Is there a mandatory requirement for a Starting Vessel to hoist an AP if they are delaying a start sequence before any races? Or can they go into sequence at any time after the scheduled start time by simply displaying the first warning signal, course flag etc plus sounds? Or is it just a courtesy before any races, but required once the sequence has begun.

Thanks for any comments.

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AP goes up if the time in the SI's had deviated in any way...2 horn blasts and flag is raised at the original starting time of the sequence.  1 blast of horn as flag is lowered and 1 minute until the start of the sequence.

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But even if this was not done am I correct in saying there is still the onus on competitors to start when they see their division flag at the Warning signal and the other flags and signals as per rrs 26? 

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I don't believe there is a hard and fast requirement that the AP go up if the RC isn't able to put up the first day's warning flag on time.  But it is a good idea.

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1 minute ago, mccroc said:

But even if this was not done am I correct in saying there is still the onus on competitors to start when they see their division flag at the Warning signal and the other flags and signals as per rrs 26? 

of course.

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Displaying AP if the racing will not start at the scheduled time is absolutely the right thing to do, and failing to do it is certainly indicative of sloppy RC work, but I can't find a rule, case, or appeal that explicitly says it's required. RRS 27.3, the definition of postpone, and the description of the use of AP in Race Signals all discuss the process of postponing, but none says explicitly that if a scheduled warning signal time is missed, the RC *must* postpone. I suspect that's because the rule writers are mindful of the slop in people's watch settings, and don't want to waste people's time with hearings about minor variations in timekeeping that affect when the first warning signal is displayed (after that signal, precise timekeeping is definitely required, for obvious reasons, and any deviation will require the display of either AP or N).

So, failing to display AP when a warning signal is delayed is terrible practice, but whether it's actually "improper" (breaks a rule) is arguable, in my view. Possibly more to the point, though, is that any attempt to seek redress for such a failure will have to pass the tests for redress; that is to say that in a addition to finding the RC's failure to display AP improper, the PC would have to agree that a boat's score was made significantly worse through no fault of her own (and that granting redress to the boat asking for it will be the fairest solution for all competitors concerned, which is everyone in the race). I'm having a hard time imagining circumstances in which that could be established, so I submit that redress for such a failure is unlikely.

Nothing in the rules relieves a boat from her obligation to start in accordance with the starting signals when they are displayed.

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1 hour ago, Katydid said:

So, failing to display AP when a warning signal is delayed is terrible practice, but whether it's actually "improper" (breaks a rule) is arguable, in my view. Possibly more to the point, though, is that any attempt to seek redress for such a failure will have to pass the tests for redress; that is to say that in a addition to finding the RC's failure to display AP improper, the PC would have to agree that a boat's score was made significantly worse through no fault of her own (and that granting redress to the boat asking for it will be the fairest solution for all competitors concerned, which is everyone in the race). I'm having a hard time imagining circumstances in which that could be established, so I submit that redress for such a failure is unlikely.

It's summer on Long Island Sound, you're more likely to see the AP flying than the burgee.

They only relief the fleet would get from such a redress filing is comedic relief, it's impossible to think that anyone would be harmed by the lack of AP.

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Just now, RumLine said:

It's summer on Long Island Sound, you're more likely to see the AP flying than the burgee.

They only relief the fleet would get from such a redress filing is comedic relief, it's impossible to think that anyone would be harmed by the lack of AP.

Spent all day watching AP yesterday, and I agree. Anyone harmed (which is highly unlikely) would be almost certain to have contributed to their own problem, hence, no redress...

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1 hour ago, Katydid said:

So, failing to display AP when a warning signal is delayed is terrible practice, but whether it's actually "improper" (breaks a rule) is arguable, in my view. Possibly more to the point, though, is that any attempt to seek redress for such a failure will have to pass the tests for redress; that is to say that in a addition to finding the RC's failure to display AP improper, the PC would have to agree that a boat's score was made significantly worse through no fault of her own (and that granting redress to the boat asking for it will be the fairest solution for all competitors concerned, which is everyone in the race). I'm having a hard time imagining circumstances in which that could be established, so I submit that redress for such a failure is unlikely.

First, while I am mindful of the difference between an error or bad decision and an improper action or omission, I don't think that an action or omission by a race committee needs to contravene a rule to be improper.

I wouldn't be nailing my colours to the mast about the unliklihood of a boat ever being disadvantaged by a failure to display an AP.

The immediate example that comes to mind is Windsurfing, where RM practice that requires that competitors be allowed rest periods ashore after certain periods on the water recognises that fatigue is a significant factor in performance.  Similar arguments could be made for foiling Moths.

As to impropriety :

  1. I might be looking at the SI:  if the (cautious) wording in rule L5.3 is used The scheduled time of the warning signal for the first race each day is ...", then inaccuracy or a reasonable delay in the actual time of the warning signal would not be improper, but if the SI say baldly "The warning signal shall be at ... "  I might take a different view.  I think that a reasonably brief delay without postponement would not be improper, while a more significant time delay might be.  Use of the Orange Flags Up/Down protocol might make a difference to how I might see this (as would the reasons for delay and the level of the event).
  2. I might also be looking at the alleged worsening of performance and fault of the boat's own:  It might be that while delay alone would not be improper, delay, where it was [readily] foreseeable by the race committee that this would disadvantage some or all boats would be improper.

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47 minutes ago, Brass said:

I might also be looking at the alleged worsening of performance and fault of the boat's own:  It might be that while delay alone would not be improper, delay, where it was [readily] foreseeable by the race committee that this would disadvantage some or all boats would be improper.

This is where I think I'd have some trouble. Even if the actions or omissions of the RC are demonstrably improper, if all of the boats received the same starting signals then how would an individual boat or boats make a case that their score or place has been made significantly worse in comparison to other boats that experienced the same circumstance? Doesn't the delay or improper signaling impact all boats more or less equally? 

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Just remember that the Race Committee is always right . . 

even when they are wrong. 

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3 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

This is where I think I'd have some trouble. Even if the actions or omissions of the RC are demonstrably improper, if all of the boats received the same starting signals then how would an individual boat or boats make a case that their score or place has been made significantly worse in comparison to other boats that experienced the same circumstance? Doesn't the delay or improper signaling impact all boats more or less equally? 

It depends. And I think that is Brass's point, generally poor signalling does affect everyone equally, but you can probably imagine (contrive) situations where this may affect one boat more than others. I have certainly seen boats stranded away from the line in patch conditions, with the wind filling in from the course side. Having the AP up ensures a minimum amount of time from the first indication of the start happening  to the actual start.

I recently was saw the Orange flag routine for the first time. (Orange flags up 5 minutes before first warning) and liked it a lot.

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if I'm volunteering my time running RC and someone has a problem with the AP flag not up becuase we didn't start at the appointed time, we're going to have a short talk at the dock..

 

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6 hours ago, Brass said:

 

First, while I am mindful of the difference between an error or bad decision and an improper action or omission, I don't think that an action or omission by a race committee needs to contravene a rule to be improper.

I thought that too, and someone on our rules committee has opined that an action or omission determined to be "manifestly unfair" should be improper too, but there is no rule or case I can find that speaks to the matter directly, so please consider this, from the redress section of the IJ Manual (admittedly not a rule, but pretty authoritative, in my view):

K.29.9 Improper Action or Omission
"An improper action is doing something that is not permitted by the racing rules, notice of race or sailing instructions. An omission is not doing something that is the rules including notice of race or sailing instructions states shall not be done. If a race officer or protest committee or the technical committee does or does not do something over which it has discretion or is not mandatory, even though it may be totally inappropriate and an extremely bad or poor judgement, it is neither an improper action, nor an omission for which redress can be given."

I wouldn't be nailing my colours to the mast about the unliklihood of a boat ever being disadvantaged by a failure to display an AP.

I wouldn't either, which is why I said I thought redress was "unlikely", not "impossible". That said, it seems to me that in the windsurfing/moth examples you provide, if competitors have been deprived of needed rest, more has happened that is prejudicial than simply not displaying a flag. I think it's noteworthy that for redress to be granted, it's not the delayed warning signal that has to have caused the score to be made worse, it's the "improper" signaling of that delay. The display and removal of AP (on the water) could be done in less than two minutes, and all boats (boards, foilers, etc.) would be disadvantaged equally by failing to do it, so I still think it's likely to fail the "my score was made significantly worse through no fault of my own" test.

As to impropriety :

  1. I might be looking at the SI:  if the (cautious) wording in rule L5.3 is used The scheduled time of the warning signal for the first race each day is ...", then inaccuracy or a reasonable delay in the actual time of the warning signal would not be improper, but if the SI say baldly "The warning signal shall be at ... "  I might take a different view.  I think that a reasonably brief delay without postponement would not be improper, while a more significant time delay might be.  Use of the Orange Flags Up/Down protocol might make a difference to how I might see this (as would the reasons for delay and the level of the event).
  2. I might also be looking at the alleged worsening of performance and fault of the boat's own:  It might be that while delay alone would not be improper, delay, where it was [readily] foreseeable by the race committee that this would disadvantage some or all boats would be improper.

I agree that the wording in the SI template in Appendix L is cautious for a reason, and I actually wrote a little blurb about the difference between when a warning signal is scheduled and when the SIs say it WILL be made, but I deleted it after looking at the impropriety test in the IJ Manual above, because it seems to me that there are any number of changes to the rules that are introduced by the SIs that will change the answer to the question, and to get too deep in those weeds was an unnecessary distraction from the point. However, I agree with your general point. It seems to me that for any request for redress to have a snowball's chance to succeed, the delay must have been substantial, I'm just not convinced that substantial delay will do it without some other pretty unusual circumstance. As to your second observation, again without claiming a successful redress request is impossible, as a general principle I'm not much moved by changes which impact all competitors equally as causes for redress. As TJSoCal says, I think it's a difficult case to make that a change which affects everyone can make one boat's score worse through no fault of her own.

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2 hours ago, Katydid said:

I don't think that an action or omission by a race committee needs to contravene a rule to be improper.

I thought that too, and someone on our rules committee has opined that an action or omission determined to be "manifestly unfair" should be improper too, but there is no rule or case I can find that speaks to the matter directly, so please consider this, from the redress section of the IJ Manual (admittedly not a rule, but pretty authoritative, in my view):

K.29.9 Improper Action or Omission
"An improper action is doing something that is not permitted by the racing rules, notice of race or sailing instructions. An omission is not doing something that is the rules including notice of race or sailing instructions states shall not be done. If a race officer or protest committee or the technical committee does or does not do something over which it has discretion or is not mandatory, even though it may be totally inappropriate and an extremely bad or poor judgement, it is neither an improper action, nor an omission for which redress can be given."

There was recently some discussion of this in another thread.

The Judges Manual, while having considerable authority, is neither a rule, nor a Case, which is an authoritative interpretation of the rules.

The quoted paragraph refers to the 'racing rules'.

I offer the example of a race committee member who has a significant conflict of interest and who makes a decision in favour of their external interest.  There is no mention in the rules of conflict of interest with respect to race officials other than judges.  Rules 2 and 69 do not apply to race officials.  This race official has broken none of the racing rules, but they have broken WS or MNA disciplinary regulations.  Surely nobody would seriously contend that redress should not be given to the disadvantaged boat?

I applaud the general sense of the Judges Manual passage, but I think care should be taken in applying it.

 

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I was the one who quoted the judges manual in the other thread. It certainly does seem to say that only rule breaches (RRS, NoR, SIs) or breaches of procedure qualify for redress as an 'improper action'. However, further up the same section of the manual it gives few example like jury boats colliding with racing boats... which doesn't break a racing rule, but is obviously unfair.

Then I read a case in the RYA case book (1999/8), where the race committee abandoned a race believing no one would finish because there was insufficient wind (and no way to shorten). The signals were made correctly but then the wind filled in, the boats carried on racing and finished in the time limit. They requested redress which wasn't given as the protest committee believed the RO made the correct call for the conditions at the time. This was overturned by the RYA who said the RO decision was improper n the circumstances and he should have left it longer to make the decision. 

Case 1999/8 really surprised me. I've been in a few races where the RO has abandoned due to the wind dropping and filling in from another direction, but we would have certainly made the finish within time limit (although this in in classes with minimum wind strengths for starting, so maybe that makes it proper?). None were subject to requests for redress, but from this case it sound like you'd have a fairly good chance of getting it. 

Furthermore 1969/2 states "A race committee action or omission may be improper, even if no rule is broken, and even when it occurs before the preparatory signal" for a case where the RC moved the start but didn't postpone long enough for boats to get to the new start area. 

 

Going back to the AP flag. I think it is proper to raise it for any delay. If you get to the start area after your scheduled start, and there are no flags up, you may reasonably think you have started, so you sail through the line and towards the first mark. When the warning signal does then go up you could find yourself quite far from the start (or subject to a starting penalty) and have valid grounds for redress. 

On the other hand, if the race team have missed the scheduled start by a few minutes, then it's likely due to changing mark positions to get a fair course or waiting for the breeze to settle. I'd rather they'd focus on that than get an AP up. If it really affects someones race they can always ask for redress. 

I like the orange flag practice. It's my impression that this is becoming more common (or I've started noticing more?). Maybe just because my club using orange flags on committee boat to identify the start line where we have two masts. I've done lots of events where RO use the AP for every start just to extend the start sequence with big fleets who spread out between races. 

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Mozzy Sails said:

 

Going back to the AP flag. I think it is proper to raise it for any delay. If you get to the start area after your scheduled start, and there are no flags up, you may reasonably think you have started, so you sail through the line and towards the first mark. When the warning signal does then go up you could find yourself quite far from the start (or subject to a starting penalty) and have valid grounds for redress. 

 

 

 

 

But you would normally have a visual of the other boats in your class and be able to interpret what's going on, wouldn't you? I mean, if you are very late and see no other boats, you're probably DNC? 

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1 hour ago, Mozzy Sails said:

I was the one who quoted the judges manual in the other thread. It certainly does seem to say that only rule breaches (RRS, NoR, SIs) or breaches of procedure qualify for redress as an 'improper action'. However, further up the same section of the manual it gives few example like jury boats colliding with racing boats... which doesn't break a racing rule, but is obviously unfair.

Thanks for citing this and the other counter-examples.  Very helpful.

1 hour ago, Mozzy Sails said:

Going back to the AP flag. I think it is proper to raise it for any delay. If you get to the start area after your scheduled start, and there are no flags up, you may reasonably think you have started, so you sail through the line and towards the first mark. When the warning signal does then go up you could find yourself quite far from the start (or subject to a starting penalty) and have valid grounds for redress. 

On the other hand, if the race team have missed the scheduled start by a few minutes, then it's likely due to changing mark positions to get a fair course or waiting for the breeze to settle. I'd rather they'd focus on that than get an AP up. If it really affects someones race they can always ask for redress. 

But signalling AP is such a simple thing to do and lets everyone know what's going on.

 

1 hour ago, Mozzy Sails said:

I like the orange flag practice. It's my impression that this is becoming more common (or I've started noticing more?). Maybe just because my club using orange flags on committee boat to identify the start line where we have two masts. I've done lots of events where RO use the AP for every start just to extend the start sequence with big fleets who spread out between races. 

AP between races is proper where the SI say:  "Subsequent races shall start as soon as possible after the finish of preceding races"  Anything other than ASAP is a delay.

The Orange flags protocol is becoming more fashionable.  It's advantage over AP alone is that it provides additional time for coach and support boats to get clear of, and boats to get back to the racing area.  I don't like it much, because large orange flags were used to guide boats to the location of the starting area, visible from a distance at the beginning of the session, and using the protocol, they now only get displayed at the 10 minute mark.  I would have preferred use of the F flag (Attention Signal) as in Match Racing,

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1 hour ago, NORBowGirl said:

But you would normally have a visual of the other boats in your class and be able to interpret what's going on, wouldn't you? I mean, if you are very late and see no other boats, you're probably DNC? 

Completely agree. I was thinking about a situation where the whole fleet is delayed getting out, you're one of the first there. With no AP up I don't think it would be unreasonable to assume the race had started and to start racing. Arriving late to your start you'd only be recorded DNC if there was a limit on starting times in the SIs. Pretty unlikely though! 

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1 hour ago, Brass said:

But signalling AP is such a simple thing to do and lets everyone know what's going on.

Yeah, signalling AP is simple... but lots of things are simple and don't get done. I'd rather they focus on getting a fair line or true beat. Obviously I'd rather they do both the AP and get the course set! 

AP between races is proper where the SI say:  "Subsequent races shall start as soon as possible after the finish of preceding races"  Anything other than ASAP is a delay.

I'm not sure AP between races is automatically 'proper' where the SI's state ASAP. ASAP gives a fairly large scope for sorting flags and marks and generally preparing for the sequence. It is ASAP not immediately after all.  As long as they're not deliberately delaying the start after the previous race (move marks, allow wind to settle, give competitors a break etc.) then there is no need to run the AP up and I view the race officer doing so only as courtesy between back to back races to help with people getting the 5 minute gun. It's nice to see, but not doing it is hardly improper. The orange flag works as a indication the RO is ready to start just as well.  

The Orange flags protocol is becoming more fashionable.  It's advantage over AP alone is that it provides additional time for coach and support boats to get clear of, and boats to get back to the racing area.  I don't like it much, because large orange flags were used to guide boats to the location of the starting area, visible from a distance at the beginning of the session, and using the protocol, they now only get displayed at the 10 minute mark.  I would have preferred use of the F flag (Attention Signal) as in Match Racing,

I wasn't aware of this use of F-flag. However, most events I've gone to provide you a chart to your races area and description of your committee boat. F-flag may work, but may cause confusion when people are expecting to see a class flag go up, especially at my club where F is the class flag for Fireballs! . The orange is at least very distinct and won't be confused for class flags.   

Sometimes it's just good to blow the horn a few times 10 seconds before you do the 5 minute signal. But I still like the Orange flag as it can be seen and heard. Orange Flag, F flag, AP or just hooters, either which way it's a courtesy between back to back races and the racers still have two more opportunities to get their timing if they miss the 5 minute. 

Edited by Mozzy Sails
clarity

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3 hours ago, Mozzy Sails said:

I was the one who quoted the judges manual in the other thread. It certainly does seem to say that only rule breaches (RRS, NoR, SIs) or breaches of procedure qualify for redress as an 'improper action'. However, further up the same section of the manual it gives few example like jury boats colliding with racing boats... which doesn't break a racing rule, but is obviously unfair.

Thanks very much, I had a vague memory of that discussion, and was looking for it, but was unsuccessful. Just to prove that no good deed goes unpunished, could you point me to the examples you refer to? I couldn't find them, and it's not that I doubt you, but I'd like to read the examples themselves, as the only ones I could find were errors that broke rules.

3 hours ago, Mozzy Sails said:

Case 1999/8 really surprised me. I've been in a few races where the RO has abandoned due to the wind dropping and filling in from another direction, but we would have certainly made the finish within time limit (although this in in classes with minimum wind strengths for starting, so maybe that makes it proper?). None were subject to requests for redress, but from this case it sound like you'd have a fairly good chance of getting it. 

Furthermore 1969/2 states "A race committee action or omission may be improper, even if no rule is broken, and even when it occurs before the preparatory signal" for a case where the RC moved the start but didn't postpone long enough for boats to get to the new start area. 

RYA 1999/8 really surprises me too, and with great respect to the RYA appeals committee, this is a rare example where I think they're wrong, and I'm glad the decision doesn't apply in the US. I sail (and officiate) in an area where having the wind quit is an unremarkable event, and it sometimes shuts off so completely that it doesn't matter that we can shorten, because the fleet won't make it to the shortened finish line either. It sometimes fills in after we abandon, often from a different direction (we often start in a light and fading northerly land breeze, which gets overcome by the convection that drives a southerly sea breeze. The sea breeze sometimes fills in in minutes, but more often takes hours - it's a long-standing joke that we'll have a lovely southerly in time for our second drink ashore). I think it would make for a significant deterrent to racing if we couldn't abandon a race that gives every indication of being a bust, on the long-shot chance that the wind fills in much more quickly that anyone anticipates. It does happen, but it's rare enough that few competitors are excited about the prospect of roasting all day on a windless racecourse to see if it will. I think this is a case where the RC's experience and discretion serves the competitors best, and would be unhappy about having that discretion by a PC.

For some reason, I can't find RYA 1969/2, but I'm less troubled by what you describe in that appeal, because it seems to me that the RC which moves a start with inadequate time to get to the new start area has not only acted improperly, but has colorably broken a rule, to wit, the designation of the starting area in the SIs.

All of this is pretty far from the original issue of whether raising AP is required for a delay, though. AP absolutely should be raised whenever there is to be a postponement, and it is best practice to display it for any delay, regardless of requirement. It hurts nobody to display it when it isn't required, and contributes to everyone's understanding - that's worth an extra 90 seconds. That said, I respectfully submit that your example of a late starter needing to see AP in order not to start is a bit far-fetched, and if something like that happened and I were PRO, I would hail, blow horns, or do something else to get the boat's attention and enlighten them. I would be comfortable that this would not break rule 41, because nobody is racing yet.

I agree that the time between races (within limits) may not be a "delay", and so AP is not required for the time necessary to prepare to run the next race. Again, though, it can't hurt, and the extra minute and a half is worth the time. I'm aware that the use of displaying orange flags as an attention/timing signal is becoming fashionable, and that the use of the "F" flag is migrating over from match racing in some places, but I'm not sure I see the value in providing another way to signal that competitors should pay attention - it sounds like complexity that serves little purpose, when displaying and dropping an AP signal would achieve the same end.

I've gone on too long (I know, you're shocked B)), but for me, the bottom line is: AP works. It's best to just use it, even if failing to do so isn't "improper".

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RYA Casebook 2017-2020

To be honest i think it's good that redress can cover a wider remit of improper action than just the judges manual. As Brass pointed out in the other thread it protects against partisan race teams making systematically making decisions within their power to favour or hinder certain boats. However, i think case 1999/8 really goes too far. The RO just made a bad call on when to abandon. I'm also not sure how you can get redress in a race which was abandoned and no finishing positions were recorded. Did they just ask the sailors their self reported finish time to calculate the handicap results? 

1969/2 is a typo, it's 1969/12.

All other cases involving improper action by RC cover errors in race procedure linked to RRS, SI or NoR. These two seem unique in that they cover improper actions which do not break from proper procedure and seem to contradict the judges manual. 

RYA 1999/8
Rule 32.1(b), Shortening or Abandoning After the Start

When the wind falls light in a race that cannot be shortened, it is not proper for the race committee to abandon until it is unlikely that any boat will finish within the time limit. The possibility of a revival of the wind must be taken into account.

SUMMARY OF THE FACTS
The starting and finishing line for a handicap centreboard race was a transit from the shore, and there were no facilities for the race committee to go afloat to shorten at a mark. The race would have been finished after three laps, and the time limit was two hours. The leading boat had sailed the first two laps in just over 20 minutes for each lap. The wind then dropped, and the leading boat made only limited progress in the next 25 minutes. Some boats chose to stop racing. 

At that point, the race officer signalled an abandonment from the shore flag mast, out of sight and earshot of the fleet, which continued racing. The wind picked up, and
the remaining boats crossed the finishing line within the time limit. The boat that would have won on handicap asked for redress, which was refused on the grounds
that the decision of the race officer to abandon was correct at the time he made it. The protest committeereferred its decision to the RYA.

DECISION
The decision of the protest committee is not confirmed, and the case is returned to the protest committee to grant redress.
When the race was abandoned, there were still 55 minutes for the leading boat to sail less than a lap that had previously been sailed in just over 20 minutes,
which would have resulted in finishing places for all other boats that finished – see rule 35. It could not have properly been said at that moment that it was unlikely
that any boat would finish within the time limit, since there was sufficient time for a stronger breeze to return. The decision to abandon was premature, and redress is
to be granted to those boats that continued to race, based on the recorded rounding times at the end of the second lap. It should be noted that the decision to abandon would
have been equally improper had no boat then crossed the finishing line within the time limit, but that could not result in redress, since in the absence of the abandonment the boats would not have had scores for finishing positions.
Request for Redress by Laser2 5749, reference from Lancing SC

RYA 1969/12
Rule 62.1(a), Redress
A race committee action or omission may be improper, even if no rule is broken, and even when it occurs before the preparatory signal.

SUMMARY OF THE FACTS
About 15 minutes before the preparatory signal the race officer moved the starting line about half a mile from its original location. In spite of a boat being sent to tow
them, two boats arrived respectively four and seven minutes late for the start. They started, and were the last to finish. They requested redress because the race
officer had moved the line without a postponement that was long enough to allow them to reach the new line. The request was refused on the grounds that the race
officer did not break the sailing instructions. The boats appealed.

DECISION
The appeals are upheld, and the cases are returned to the protest committee to award redress. The race officer laid a fresh starting line without adequately postponing the start of the race to enable the boats to reach the new position and to manoeuvre to obtain a good start. This made their scores significantly worse: it was improper, even though it broke no racing rule or sailing instruction; and the boats were not at fault.
Request for Redress by Ajira and Goldcrest, Dale YC

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20 hours ago, Brass said:

I offer the example of a race committee member who has a significant conflict of interest and who makes a decision in favour of their external interest.  There is no mention in the rules of conflict of interest with respect to race officials other than judges.  Rules 2 and 69 do not apply to race officials.  This race official has broken none of the racing rules, but they have broken WS or MNA disciplinary regulations.  Surely nobody would seriously contend that redress should not be given to the disadvantaged boat?

I applaud the general sense of the Judges Manual passage, but I think care should be taken in applying it.

Brass, I hesitated to do this, but I'm afraid I have to re-open our discussion of whether Rule 69 applies to race officials, because I realized something I had completely forgotten when we discussed it last, and I think I have to withdraw my full agreement with you that it does not. It's a bit convoluted, but I'd like to draw your attention to section (b) of the definition of rule, which includes the WS Disciplinary Code as a rule.

The WS Disciplinary Code (Reg 35), in turn, says (in relevant part);

35.2 Part A – Obligations concerning Misconduct

35.2.1  In this Code, a “Participant” means any competitor, boat owner, support person, World Sailing committee or commission member, World Sailing Member, World Sailing Officer, World Sailing Race Official, or World Sailing Representative.

35.2.2  In this Code “Misconduct” means a breach of Regulation 35.2.3, 35.2.4 and/or Regulation 35.3.9.

35.2.3  No Participant shall commit misconduct, as defined under RRS 69.1(a).

35.2.4  No World Sailing committee or commission member, World Sailing member, World Sailing officer, World Sailing Race Official or World Sailing Representative shall commit a breach of the World Sailing Constitution or Regulations that is deliberate, repeated or otherwise more than a misjudgement.
...
35.3.9  All Participants must take all reasonable measures to assist Disciplinary Investigating Officers in the collection of evidence. If a Disciplinary Investigating Officer requests the production of evidence from any person that person shall (subject to considerations of legal professional privilege or other legal entitlement) be under an obligation to provide it. Failure to comply with a Disciplinary Investigating Officer’s request shall be regarded as Misconduct.

I think this means that while you're right that Rule 69 per se doesn't apply to race officials, Reg 35 does, and it's not just a regulation, it's a rule as defined in the rulebook. What's more, that part of Reg 35 uses the definition of misconduct in 69.1(a) (and I believe, by extension, 69.1b - actually, I think 69.1a is effectively a typo, since there is no definition there) to describe what is prohibited to (WS) race officials. It's true that there is a different mechanism for hearing cases and enforcing the disciplinary code than the hearing conducted by a PC at an event, so I think the thrust of your comments about a misbahaving race official not being subject to a PC's discipline is still true, but it's not true that such a race official hasn't broken a rule as defined in the RRS, and it seems to me that that allows redress to be considered.

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44 minutes ago, Mozzy Sails said:

To be honest i think it's good that redress can cover a wider remit of improper action than just the judges manual. As Brass pointed out in the other thread it protects against partisan race teams making systematically making decisions within their power to favour or hinder certain boats. However, i think case 1999/8 really goes too far. The RO just made a bad call on when to abandon. I'm also not sure how you can get redress in a race which was abandoned and no finishing positions were recorded. Did they just ask the sailors their self reported finish time to calculate the handicap results? 

1969/2 is a typo, it's 1969/12....

RYA 1969/12

Rule 62.1(a), Redress
A race committee action or omission may be improper, even if no rule is broken, and even when it occurs before the preparatory signal.

This may seem perversely contrary even for me, but FWIW, despite my arguments to the contrary, I'm inclined to agree. While I'm not sure Brass' example is dispositive (see my reply to him above), and I agree that RYA 1999/8 is a mistake, I think that there could be other examples similar to RYA 1969/12 (thanks for the clarification), in which the RC has done something boneheaded that wasn't due to a conflict or anything unethical, but was still manifestly unfair to someone. Again, I think the RC in that case was more actively boneheaded than in the other possible examples we've discussed (they changed the location of the start area, and then provided a tow that made the boats really late for the start), and there may be some impropriety there that the rules cover, but I concede that that's a bit of a stretch, and it would be better not not have to make it.

I would like to see an addition to the IJ Manual (or better yet, a case) that modifies the guidance in K.29.9 to include actions that are "manifestly unfair", as my colleague here in the US has suggested. Meanwhile, if we need to fix something like that as a PC, I suppose we can take refuge in Brass' observation that the IJ Manual isn't a rule or an authoritative interpretation, and hope that an appeal or question can produce a WS Case that will be authoritative in time.

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21 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

if I'm volunteering my time running RC and someone has a problem with the AP flag not up becuase we didn't start at the appointed time, we're going to have a short talk at the dock..

 

... during which I would suggest that one option would be to cancel the race and totally annul the results for everyone, and let everyone know it was because xxx says he missed the start because there was no postponement signal.

 

If there was no postponement signal, all the more reason to be close to the line so as to be there for ANY signal - including the starting sequence.   

 

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On 7/9/2018 at 2:19 PM, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

if I'm volunteering my time running RC and someone has a problem with the AP flag not up becuase we didn't start at the appointed time, we're going to have a short talk at the dock.

Racers should appreciate that RC members are unpaid volunteers, doing their best. That doesn't mean that racers should suffer in silence when their finishing places have been made significantly worse by an RC's improper act or omission; but don't waste volunteers' time by challenging on technical, picayune issues that have no or insignificant adverse consequences.

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