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2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: The Race Committee has lodged a protest against Wild Oats XI


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In an interesting turn of events, it’s been confirmed that the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race Committee have lodged a protest against Wild Oats XI regarding allegations that their AIS did not transmit throughout the race.

https://livesaildie.com/2018-rolex-sydney-hobart-yacht-race-the-race-committee-has-lodged-a-protest-against-wild-oats-xi/

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In loving memory of Clark and Daw We welcome this evening Mr Richard the skipper of the winning power boat. Hello Brian. Mr Richard, may we call you Dick? Sure Brian, most

If Matt Allen as President of AS has any balls he should put Harburg/Bradford and Oatley/Richards in a room and read them the riot act. Harburg for not protesting but having a cry on national TV and O

Ok I am now caught up on this thread. Yes I went live - first actually - with the news direct from Shipwright Arms where WOXI were having lunch in one room, and BJ in the other. Was the best place to

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Gotta play by the rules. Saw a friend sail a overnight race and kick their class right in the feel good spot and because they didn't check in at the start, game over. While its little, and it sucks. Cross your ts and dot your i's. Don't bitch when you don't.

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14 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

I love people who open a multiple thread to generate multiple posts on the same subject matter.

It’s called attention whore syndrome 

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Unless the tracker company can demonstrate 100% failsafe operation, then I cant see how they can toss them.

We have issues like this in Baja while racing off road,  IMHO trackers are shit...everywhere, all the time.

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22 minutes ago, Glenn McCarthy said:

Chickenshit to turn off AIS, Chickenshit to protest over it.

 

i doubt it was turned off on purpose by anyone who read and understood the SI's, and wanted to cheat - you would know 100% that you would get caught

the race committee lodged the protest - they really had no choice

"The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), the organising authority for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, has been advised that Race Committee has advised that they have lodged a protest against Wild Oats XI."

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2 minutes ago, NaptimeAgain said:

One can break a rule without intentionally "cheating" so you can still get a DQ unless a rule specifically requires demonstrated intent to subvert the rule. 

Yes indeed.  In this case the word "shall" in the SIs is pretty clear.

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19 minutes ago, NaptimeAgain said:

One can break a rule without intentionally "cheating" so you can still get a DQ unless a rule specifically requires demonstrated intent to subvert the rule. 

of course...

but in this case, the jury has some latitude in assessing a penalty.., and that penalty can be informed by a judgement as to intent.

it is also fair for the jury to consider the impact on other boats - WOXI could track them on AIS, but they couldn't track WOXI on AIS - a clear disadvantage to the competitors

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11.4 Changes to Special Regulations

• Special Regulation 4.09 (a): An AIS Transponder shall be carried and be switched on, such that it is receiving and transmitting.

http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/media/3438679/rshyr-si-final.pdf

Does anyone have a link to the interview with mark richards on the dock? I think he mentions having the tracker on but not AIS, and said something about being able to see the other boats the entire race so it shouldn't have mattered?

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also..,

while he _may_ have been talking about the tracker.., it's hard to believe he could be that clueless.., because he also said that "it" (whatever he was talking about) was not required...

and the tracker requirement is in both the SI's and the NOR.., and the penalty for no tracker is explicitly stated as DSQ

if i was skippering wild oats.., i would know about that...

so both AIS and tracker are required

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47 minutes ago, us7070 said:

 

i doubt it was turned off on purpose by anyone who read and understood the SI's, and wanted to cheat - you would know 100% that you would get caught

the race committee lodged the protest - they really had no choice

"The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), the organising authority for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, has been advised that Race Committee has advised that they have lodged a protest against Wild Oats XI."

I'm totally against RC protests, unless they observed an alleged infraction.  They got a report from some competitor who didn't have the cajones to file the protest themselves.  Why didn't the competitor file the protest?  It was their job to.

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I can only add that I have been on multiple boats (including my own) where people said they could not see our AIS.  And at times I was not receiving AIS even though it was ON.

One would hope that WO did not turn off AIS.  

 

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2 minutes ago, Glenn McCarthy said:

I'm totally against RC protests, unless they observed an alleged infraction.  They got a report from some competitor who didn't have the cajones to file the protest themselves.  Why didn't the competitor file the protest?  It was their job to.

maybe they did observe it...

in addition to getting the report.

i observed it - i even posted about it at the time, in this thread when i observed it - comanche and black jack were both visible on marine traffic when they rounded tasman island, but woxi wasn't

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It sucks you have to protest now all of the time to get folks to follow the rules.  If indeed they intentionally didn't have AIS on, no more 1hr penalties like last year; they should DSQ them.  Don't let the Wild Oats bullies get the better of a really awesome race!

The RC did observe the situation.  Hell, I observed them not having AIS on.  Blackjack was the only boat of the front runners I could see consistently followed by Commanche.  I'd bet the transmit antennas are on top of the keel, too, making it hard to see.

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By the wording of the rule, as long as the device was on in transmit and receive mode for the whole race, it doesn't matter if its effective range was 10 miles or 10 metres.  If WOXI can show that the problem was simply poor transmit range, they are good IMHO.

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4 minutes ago, See Level said:

Why would Oats intentionally keep their AIS transmit turned off when they were within sight of their competition almost the entire time?

AIS gives you a lot more information than just an idea where the other boat is.  Instant feedback on COG/SOG, small differences in which are imperceptible to the human eye.

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6 minutes ago, Just A Skosh said:

AIS gives you a lot more information than just an idea where the other boat is.  Instant feedback on COG/SOG, small differences in which are imperceptible to the human eye.

What time off watch gets their snacks, who's in the loo, what porn the naviguesser downloaded to watch later.

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Not denying that the Oately family have made a great contribution to the ocean racing scene down under, the parallel being Bart Cummings who won many Melbourne Cups in horse racing, who once was reported to say after an stewards investigation into the jockey's behaviour on a particular horse..."what the fuck....this is my race...I own it...they can fuck off"..which also involved millions of dollars in race winnings...

Maybe time to change the jockey....?

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52 minutes ago, us7070 said:

also..,

while he _may_ have been talking about the tracker.., it's hard to believe he could be that clueless.., because he also said that "it" (whatever he was talking about) was not required...

and the tracker requirement is in both the SI's and the NOR.., and the penalty for no tracker is explicitly stated as DSQ

if i was skippering wild oats.., i would know about that...

so both AIS and tracker are required

Hit it on the head.  Richard's quote that "it" was not mandatory and his quick excuse that "it didn't matter because we could see each other the whole race" suggests an intentional choice they made to go stealth, knowing all the information AIS provides which visual confirmation does not.  If its wasn't mandatory, nothing wrong with doing it, but  it was and Richards either didin't read the SI's or worse, knowingly turned it off.    Its a low class move similar to (in the days before trackers and AIS) boats that didn't turn on their nav lights until hours after sunset so that nearby competitors would lose visual id. 

Glen is correct, chicken shit by the R/C, but WO should be chucked none the less.

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6 minutes ago, farr40 said:

Hit it on the head.  Richard's quote that "it" was not mandatory and his quick excuse that "it didn't matter because we could see each other the whole race" suggests an intentional choice they made to go stealth, knowing all the information AIS provides which visual confirmation does not.  If its wasn't mandatory, nothing wrong with doing it, but  it was and Richards either didin't read the SI's or worse, knowingly turned it off.    Its a low class move similar to (in the days before trackers and AIS) boats that didn't turn on their nav lights until hours after sunset so that nearby competitors would lose visual id. 

Glen is correct, chicken shit by the R/C, but WO should be chucked none the less.

100% agreed^

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Should be disqualified . Ais data has crossing distance time to target etc so clear advantage

also real time not like the tracker

just look at the effect on the Volvo race

poor power output or transmission range is bullshit

most importantly ais is there for other vessels not just race boats

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3 minutes ago, lydia said:

Should be disqualified . Ais data has crossing distance time to target etc so clear advantage

also real time not like the tracker

just look at the effect on the Volvo race

poor power output or transmission range is bullshit

most importantly ais is there for other vessels not just race boats

+1

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1 hour ago, us7070 said:

it's really more the navigator's fault than the skipper - sure the skipper has ultimate responsibility.., but still...

It would be a pretty ballsy navigator that shut it off (against the SI's) without the skipper's approval.  I don't think this was a unilateral decision by any means.  So incredibly stupid I can't wrap my mind around it.  

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14 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

It would be a pretty ballsy navigator that shut it off (against the SI's) without the skipper's approval.  I don't think this was a unilateral decision by any means.  So incredibly stupid I can't wrap my mind around it.  

i'm sure it's just that he didn't read the SI's carefully enough...

i'm sure that when he.., or whomever, turned it off, they figured they were doing something that was permitted.., so no reason to ask the skipper...

we don't know who actually flicked the switch (i would bet there is a hardware switch somewhere in the nav station that turns Tx off).., probably it was the navigator, because managing that equipment is his job and everyone knows to leave it to him 

i guess there is an outside chance that someone like the boat captain looked at it and said to himself "why is that on?".., but mostly the crew know not to touch things like that

in the end, it's the navigators responsibility to make sure this is managed correctly

if a random crew member turned it off, and the navigator just was too busy to notice it.., that kind of sucks.. i could see not noticing someone had changed it..

like i said in other posts  - it's easy to make sure Tx is on and working.., and i do check.., but...

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2 minutes ago, lydia said:

So guess later today we will see if the jury members are boy racers or grown ups who understand that a yacht race exists in the a wider commercial maritime world

 

i wouldn't want to be on that jury...

there are no good choices

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Whomever ends up before the jury, I hope they have better integrity than folks making up excuses like transmission power or what not. 

 

Factually say what you or your crew did. At worst you get DSQ. Put together lies? You're asking for an individual ban. 

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13 minutes ago, us7070 said:

there is not going to be a DSQ

nobody deliberately cheated - it was a mistake.

the worst will be a time penalty

Pretty definitive statement that nobody deliberately cheated.  Do you have more information than what has been posted here.  As I said earlier, without MR opening his mouth, they could have survived the protest.  

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Just now, Cal20sailor said:

Pretty definitive statement that nobody deliberately cheated.  Do you have more information than what has been posted here.  As I said earlier, without MR opening his mouth, they could have survived the protest.  

AIS was turned off or failed an hour or more before the race began. That's pretty definitive. 

Also why didn't anyone call them out on it at the start of the race?

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1 minute ago, Cal20sailor said:

Pretty definitive statement that nobody deliberately cheated.  Do you have more information than what has been posted here.  As I said earlier, without MR opening his mouth, they could have survived the protest.  

the only thing that makes sense is that it was a mistake...

exactly what mistake.., we don't know - navigator didn't read SI's and thought he could turn it off.., crew member leaned against switch.., i could go on...

but it would be idiotic to knowingly and deliberately break the rule to gain an advantage - because you have 100% certainty of getting caught - all the competitors know you aren't transmitting.., as well as anyone at home who looks at online AIS...

so, i discount that possibility.., and conclude it was a fuck up of some sort

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4 minutes ago, us7070 said:

the only thing that makes sense is that it was a mistake...

exactly what mistake.., we don't know - navigator didn't read SI's and thought he could turn it off.., crew member leaned against switch.., i could go on...

but it would be idiotic to knowingly and deliberately break the rule to gain an advantage - because you have 100% certainty of getting caught - all the competitors know you aren't transmitting.., as well as anyone at home who looks at online AIS...

so, i discount that possibility.., and conclude it was a fuck up of some sort

I want to agree because I can't make sense of any other possible explanation.  They still get chucked.  And MR's comment still makes it sound like they knowingly sailed with the tx off.  I'm confused.  

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3 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

I want to agree because I can't make sense of any other possible explanation.  They still get chucked.  

time penalty more likely

the DSQ is required for turning off the tracker.., but not for turning off the AIS - at least by my reading...

or no penalty - that's an option too

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2 minutes ago, us7070 said:

time penalty more likely

the DSQ is required for turning off the tracker.., but not for turning off the AIS - at least by my reading...

or no penalty - that's an option too

Still an embarrassment they didn't need particularly following last year's fiasco.  Money should buy better help.  Still can't reconcile MR's comments with 'an accident.'

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2 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

Still an embarrassment they didn't need particularly following last year's fiasco.  Money should buy better help.  Still can't reconcile MR's comments with 'an accident.'

i said "mistake" ..., and i include not knowing the rules in that category - it is distinct from deliberately breaking a rule to gain an advantage, which i am pretty certain did not happen

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7 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

Still an embarrassment they didn't need particularly following last year's fiasco.  Money should buy better help.  Still can't reconcile MR's comments with 'an accident.'

Better help? Doesn't matter how much you get paid, sooner or later you'll fuck up at some level.

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2 minutes ago, us7070 said:

i said "mistake" ..., and i include not knowing the rules in that category - it is distinct from deliberately breaking a rule to gain an advantage, which i am pretty certain did not happen

Sorry to beat a very dead horse, but why was MR's first reaction to the issue was to say that it's not mandatory.  I'm guessing that on a scale of 1 to 10 that the SH is a 10 and every other race they do during the year is a 1.  If it was my bread and butter, I would know the SI's in my sleep.  Sorry for the dead horse, but it doesn't add up.  

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2 minutes ago, us7070 said:

the only thing that makes sense is that it was a mistake...

exactly what mistake.., we don't know - navigator didn't read SI's and thought he could turn it off.., crew member leaned against switch.., i could go on...

but it would be idiotic to knowingly and deliberately break the rule to gain an advantage - because you have 100% certainty of getting caught - all the competitors know you aren't transmitting.., as well as anyone at home who looks at online AIS...

so, i discount that possibility.., and conclude it was a fuck up of some sort

IF there was a mistake, the mistake was not reading the SI carefully, however, the act of turning off the AIS was not a mistake.

Without being on board, we don't know for sure.  There may not have been a mistake at all, just like the people who used to not turn on navigation lights until hours after sunset and they have changed course, etc.  Those people made a conscious decision to violate the rules and decided to take the risk, knowing that a) it is unlikely a competitor would file a chicken shit protest about navigation lights and b) even if a protest is filed, they can defend by saying their batteries were low and their lights are very dim, etc. 

It is entirely possible that the Wild Oats  situation is a modern extension of that mentality.  The act of turning off the AIS was not a mistake.  It was most likely a deliberate choice (someone could have fallen against it, etc, but very unlikely given the timing of it going off line). I have been in discussions with boats that don't want their AIS to transmit (if it is not required by the rules) but they still want to receive other's transmissions for the tactical advantage.

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2 minutes ago, farr40 said:

 

It is entirely possible that the Wild Oats  situation is a modern extension of that mentality.  The act of turning off the AIS was not a mistake.  It was most likely a deliberate choice (someone could have fallen against it, etc, but very unlikely given the timing of it going off line). I have been in discussions with boats that don't want their AIS to transmit (if it is not required by the rules) but they still want to receive other's transmissions for the tactical advantage.

but in this case the 100% probability of being caught argues against deliberate cheating - breaking a rule to gain advantage

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3 minutes ago, farr40 said:

IF there was a mistake, the mistake was not reading the SI carefully, however, the act of turning off the AIS was not a mistake.

So what's your evidence that it was malicious? Where is the transponder on XI? Where is the switch for it on XI?

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4 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

Sorry to beat a very dead horse, but why was MR's first reaction to the issue was to say that it's not mandatory.  I'm guessing that on a scale of 1 to 10 that the SH is a 10 and every other race they do during the year is a 1.  If it was my bread and butter, I would know the SI's in my sleep.  Sorry for the dead horse, but it doesn't add up.  

i agree - i would know the SI's too

seems like MR figures he has people for things like reading the SI's.

but only somemone with a pathological condition would cheat if they know they are going to get caught

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Mostly just posting to say what a bummer this is but, FWIW, my WAG is that turning off the AIS xmit is part of the pre-race checklist. Somebody who should have known better did it reflexively. Everybody makes mistakes. Some of them get you DSQed. This is one seems particularly boneheaded but I don't find it beyond belief that it was mere carelessness.

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2 minutes ago, us7070 said:

the time penalty is a guess

the part about no deliberate cheating is because it's the only thing that makes sense - see above

I’m going for pure arrogance playing it’s part, either way, if line honours is the whole reason for this programme, then you would make damn sure you didn’t exclude yourself from it by silly shit like this.  I don’t believe it’s silly shit either. 

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I find this sad. Everyone on Wild Oats 11 should have been able to recite the SIs from memory after last year. 

It was a clear advantage that should be punished. Though the classy thing would have been for one of the other boats to radio them up and let them know it wasn't transmitting as soon as they noticed.  

Every person on Wild Oats better be able to recite SIs from memory next year. That boat deserves better.

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9 minutes ago, weightless said:

Mostly just posting to say what a bummer this is but, FWIW, my WAG is that turning off the AIS xmit is part of the pre-race checklist. Somebody who should have known better did it reflexively. Everybody makes mistakes. Some of them get you DSQed. This is one seems particularly boneheaded but I don't find it beyond belief that it was mere carelessness.

This is Wild OatsXI, the eleventh boat in a fully professional racing program.  How do you not have someone (or two or more) read the SIs as soon as they are published and again on the morning of the race.  

My crew physically touches every required item before leaving the dock.  We often catch something, even have had to make a mad dash to storage a time or two.  I can’t imagine a S2H program not doing the same.

Although my girlfriend did the race one year where the owner forgot the food. So that can happen.

 

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5 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

7070, if you are sitting at the nav station, are there any visual indicators that tell you the AIS is transmitting?

Yeah, your Shipfinder app on your phone.  The same app the guys on the rail are looking at to check their friend’s race status.

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Just now, Left Shift said:

Yeah, your Shipfinder app on your phone.  The same app the guys on the rail are looking at to check their friend’s race status.

Not what I asked, is there a visual indicator at the nav station that shows you are broadcasting AIS data?

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17 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

7070, if you are sitting at the nav station, are there any visual indicators that tell you the AIS is transmitting?

on some AIS units there is an LED - but on the boats i sail on the AIS is "black box" i.e. it has no buttons, so it is usually mounted where i can't see it.

even with the LED - i am pretty sure that the Tx LED will still indicate Tx if the antenna connection broke or came un-done, or whatever

so you have to actively check - that's what i do

if you have internet, you can just look at marine traffic on your phone

otherwise, it's bit more complicated...

the reason you don't see your own AIS Icon on the chartplotter or whatever, is because there is a filter that filters your own MMSI from being displayed. you can turn off that filter and you will see your own AIS icon on the plotter and/or in expedition - if you are broadcasting

i do both of those things to make sure i am transmitting when required - but it's not like i do it every hour.., or even every day.

i always check before the start.., and again if i have any reason to think i am not transmitting.., but in the middle of the race for no reason - maybe if i get bored...

 

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14 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

 How do you not have someone (or two or more) read the SIs as soon as they are published and again on the morning of the race.  

I'm sure they did. But I use check lists all the time because even when I know something old habits and reflexes sometimes trip me up. "It shouldn't happen at this level" is a remarkably common remark. I think this could be that.

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I've been in several offshore racing protest meetings, on both sides of the table.  This one seems fairly simple.  It's an SI compliance issue, really a 'yes' or 'no' to a mandatory race requirement.  Not much wriggle room, folks.

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32 minutes ago, hiphip said:

Every person on Wild Oats better be able to recite SIs from memory next year. That boat deserves better.

when i navigate, i am totally anal about checking SI's and making sure we comply

the bermuda race for example, has had incredibly complicated rules with many opportunities to fuck up - although they have cleaned it up recently.

importantly - when you get to bermuda.., the navigator and the skipper have to both sign and submit a document in which you aver that you have followed all the rules. having to sign your name to something like that focuses the mind...

even in other races - day races - i figure it's the navigators job. i have sailed day races with tacticians who haven't read them.., sometimes they also figure it's the navigators job...

NYYC is particularly creative when it comes to maximizing the chance that a competitor will get something wrong..

edit - i should clarify - NYYC is not the organizer of the bermuda race.., i was talking about their day-race regattas

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2 hours ago, lydia said:

Should be disqualified . Ais data has crossing distance time to target etc so clear advantage

also real time not like the tracker

just look at the effect on the Volvo race

poor power output or transmission range is bullshit

most importantly ais is there for other vessels not just race boats

Sure, but read what the rule says.  If WOXI did not turn off the unit, either accidentally or deliberately, and had reason to believe that it was operating during the race (such as no-one calling them on the radio to tell them it wasn't), the jury can't DSQ them.  If the unit was turned off, they are toast, by the wording of the rule, whether it was intentional or accidental.  Race committees have to be very careful with wording; if the committee intended boats to retire if their AIS failed, they sure didn't put that in the rule.

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40 minutes ago, dasher12 said:

Can someone link the dock video with MR commenting on this. I can't seem to find it.

There is a video in the linked article where he makes the comments.  He sounds so sure about the AIS not being mandatory.  Maybe he didn't read the SIs.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-28/wild-oats-xi-sydney-hobart-2018-line-honours-winner/10671064

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The AIS graphs posted earlier are all that are required to DSQ WOXI. The graph proves the system was transmitting prior to the race start then transmission was turn off. Whether accidentally or not, the rule was broken. Lydia has a very good point WOXI is required by martitime law to have the AIS fully operational. 

Worst of all, this indicates a pattern of behaviour by WOXI, and not a good one

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5 minutes ago, dash34 said:

Sure, but read what the rule says.  If WOXI did not turn off the unit, either accidentally or deliberately, and had reason to believe that it was operating during the race (such as no-one calling them on the radio to tell them it wasn't), the jury can't DSQ them. 

where are you getting that?

both the SI's and the special regs referenced by the SI's say the unit has to work - merely being turned on is not enough

but there is no requirement for DSQ for AIS violation - there is for a tracker violation

my guess - if there is a penalty, it will be a time penalty, not DSQ

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