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Nanny State or nanny goat state: conspiracy or clusterf*ck?


(p)Irate

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So first some context. My crew and I have just won a five race Winter Series with a score (after drop) of 4. We live in a fairly cold part of Australia and ironically winter (and autumn) is the only time our boat is eligible to compete in the top level of racing conducted by any of our three local clubs. Why, you may ask? Well, for some reason, even though all the summer pennant races are conducted in either smooth or sheltered waters (see map), the organising authorities have in their wisdom decided to over-ride the Australian Sailing Category 5 Safety requirements and insist that a fitted (not hand-held) VHF radio must be installed. For those in other regions the safety categories are:

Race Category Description
Category 0 N/A (Trans-oceanic races)
Category 1 Offshore races of long distance and well offshore, where boats must be self-sufficient for extended periods of time, capable of withstanding heavy storms and prepared to meet serious emergencies without the expectation of outside assistance.
Category 2 Offshore races of extended duration along or not far removed from shorelines or in large unprotected bays or lakes, where a high degree of self-sufficiency is required of the yachts.
Category 3 Offshore races across open water, most of which is relatively protected or close to shorelines.
Category 4 Short offshore races, close to shore in relatively warm or protected waters, normally held in daylight.
Category 5 Races with limited rescue availability, in protected waters, in daylight hours or in sheltered waters at night.
Category 6 Short races close to the shoreline in protected waters, in daylight hours only and with effective rescue availability
Category 7 Short races in sheltered waters, in daylight hours only and with effective rescue availability. Boats not complying with Rule 3.01.3 (Special Regulations 2017-2021 Part 1) are not required to carry buoyancy.

Our boat is a sports boat, very limited space below decks, where a fitted VHF radio would be very difficult to access in an emergency, and a handheld is actually more accessible and safer. But I digress. This  is the context. Word is that we could apply for a dispensation, another boat has, but according to one prominent club official, "we wouldn't want anyone to know that."

Our summer season is about to kick off with what is essentially a three day social event with a separate entry system and SI's from the regular summer pennant series. Race 1 of the opening series is a passage race from A to B on the map attached (note: entirely within smooth waters, but at

 

221312754_Operational-areas-mapCrop2.jpg.e9ffa65b3ea904774030ba88047d67a2.jpgnight); a day harbour race in the very protected upper estuary (around point C); and a day race on the following morning from C to D. All, as you note in smooth waters. The series is this weekend. Entries closed yesterday at 1700.

So, yesterday afternoon, out of interest I consulted the NOR. The regatta was to be Cat 5N. No amendment to the VHF radio requirement. I entered one hour before closing time. I almost instantly received a phone call from the Sailing Manager who stated that the boat was not eligible for Cat 5N because it didn't have lifelines. I drew his attention to 3.12.3 and 3.12.6 of Cat 5 which states Lifelines (if fitted). He seemed surprised by this so I risked asking the elephant in the room question. "Have you amended the Cat 5 requirements to insist on a fixed VHF radio?"

"No," he replied, "We haven't done that for this series."

"Excellent," I said, "I will have the 5N Safety Audit form to you tomorrow."

Note: the provision of a VHF radio (either handheld or fitted) is NOT mentioned on the AS Cat 5 Safety Audit checklist!

At 1704 a text message arrived advising that the SI's were now available online (they were not available when I entered). At 0852 this morning I received a text from the Sailing Manager stating, "further to our conversation of yesterday ... please see Clause 12 of the ... sailing instructions, regarding a fixed VHF radio is mandatory."

I have since discovered that the NOR has now been amended (after entries had closed) to also state that a fixed VHF radio is mandatory - although this could well be in breach of RRS 89.2 b:

89.2. Notice of Race; Appointment of Race Officials
 
  1. The organizing authority shall publish a notice of race that conforms to rule J1.  
  2. The notice of race may be changed provided adequate notice is given. 

I'm not sure that "adequate notice is given," means that the NOR can be changed after all entries have been received!!

But, it gets worse. In previous years the more serious safety category requirements only applied to the night race. Now the Cat 5, plus the requirement for fixed VHF radio applies to all races in the series. Local boats from the area around point C, a brackish water estuary 1 NM by 0.5 NM who normally race under Cat 7 at best, cannot compete in a race in their own backyard. I cannot put my sports boat on its trailer and tow it the location and race this round the cans race even though I've just won a 5 weekend round the cans series in a waterway far more exposed in winter under a lesser safety category. Yep, the same waterway that I can't sail in over summer because it's not safe.

There are two aspects to this situation:

1. The arbitrary application of the Cat 5 VHF amendment excludes boats from racing in events on waters that they can race on at other times of the year, organised by the same authorities; and

2. The farcical situation of changing the rules for this weekend's race series because, and I can only reach this conclusion, they did not want my boat to enter for fear of a) setting a precedent, b) trying to cover their arses; or c) they think I'm a bolshie prick and don't want me to play.

Operational-areas-crop1.jpg

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Have you read the regulations that specify the fixed VHF?

From what I've seen in the AS SR, there is no definition of what makes a VHF fixed other than it is permanently mounted. There is no minimum power requirement (only maximum for hand held), DSC is only recommended and there is no mention of an external antenna.

It sounds to me that you could in theory make a handheld comply with the SI's 

but the best solution would be to buy the cheapest fixed radio and install it below deck where you can use it to prove you are complying with the SI's and then never turn it on and continue using your handheld.

Sounds like dumbarse RO's

 

We have a safety cat issue out our club. The sailing committee wants to resurrect the moonlight races we used to have in the past. The races would be the same as our twilights which allows cat 6/7  boat but starts later with the finish after dark. Then the reality sunk in that to do this race, boats must comply with cat 5n. As a result it is expected that the moonlight races will either never happen or quickly die due to the lack of cat 5n boats.

Logic dictates that we should be able to say that the races are cat 6 plus extra items for night sailing, but these days, we are not allowed to make common sense judgements ourselves.  

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Once upon a time we had administrators who knew stuff now we just get dickheads

anyone point out the course goes past mount mangana

to the non locals it is a  tas maritine vhf base

and tas maritime is the best radio network I have come across anywhere in the world

ffs

And before any one raises 2011 the post mortem found the poor bloke had a blood alcohol content of over 0.164 and in all likehood it was higher earlier

that is not a radio issue

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Then again it is the new Hobart regime so odds are they just changed the rules to fuck you pirate to benefit a favourite 

the new Tasmanian way I am afraid so no wonder the fleets are dropping

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Just looked the weather, so channel forecast is 10 to 15 knot from the north all night ,the course is mostly all south and you are in a fast sports boat so there is the real reason for the late change as you  would get line honours

Call  me a cynic 

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7 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

For it being Talk like a Pirate Day and your nom de plume, you don't sound much like a Pirate...

Why don't ye be stickin a belayin pin up ye fundamental ye scurvied son of a sea hag!

Better?

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Just to be clear - the issue of the radio is not the main problem. I could have bolted on an inoperable one or zip tied a handheld to the boat.

The issue is that the club changed the safety requirements after I had entered, after they had indicated that I had complied, changed the NOR after entries closed (Contrary to RRS 89.2b) in order to prevent me from competing. Aaarrrggghhh!!!

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2 hours ago, (p)Irate said:

Just to be clear - the issue of the radio is not the main problem. I could have bolted on an inoperable one or zip tied a handheld to the boat.

The issue is that the club changed the safety requirements after I had entered, after they had indicated that I had complied, changed the NOR after entries closed (Contrary to RRS 89.2b) in order to prevent me from competing. Aaarrrggghhh!!!

The best course of action is to fix a radio and race with this attitude.

 

hobo-and-the-bird_o_236193.jpg

 

Then next year create another thread when they override 3.12.3 and 3.12.6 making lifelines mandatory...

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10 hours ago, (p)Irate said:

Just to be clear - the issue of the radio is not the main problem. I could have bolted on an inoperable one or zip tied a handheld to the boat.

The issue is that the club changed the safety requirements after I had entered, after they had indicated that I had complied, changed the NOR after entries closed (Contrary to RRS 89.2b) in order to prevent me from competing. Aaarrrggghhh!!!

Why do they want to stop you competing? I'm curious because pretty much every club I've visited is desperately trying to encourage anyone they can find to participate in whatever race they can put together that will attract enough boats to enable a start...

Cheers,

              W.

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2 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

Why do they want to stop you competing? I'm curious because pretty much every club I've visited is desperately trying to encourage anyone they can find to participate in whatever race they can put together that will attract enough boats to enable a start...

Cheers,

              W.

That's why I called the thread "Conspiracy or Clusterfuck?" I've always said that if you suspect a conspiracy you should always make sure that it's not just incompetence.

I don't think it's really against me personally. More that they realised that they had their "most dangerous" event of the year at a lower level of safety requirement than their summer pennant. Rather than sucking it up, assessing the ACTUAL risk upon the weather conditions for this weekend, the nature of the boat and the competence of the crew, and allowing the entry for this year, they decided that it was more important to cover their arse on a POTENTIAL risk basis, even though it meant breaching the RRS in terms of NOR.

The much bigger picture is that Australia generally has become the Nanny State in terms of inflexible compliance and paranoia in the case of perceived risk. Thus we get the situation that the safety requirements in an organised sailing event, accompanied by a dedicated radio-relay, rescue and support vessel, in smooth, protected waters with (as Lydia said) the best VHF reception and maritime radio service in Australia, in an area where there are 12 fish farms with staff on duty 24 hours a day in a 35 mile length of the race course, are a number of levels higher than are required for unsupported recreational and commercial vessel operations in the same area.

And more to the point of organised sailing; the safety requirements have been elevated above those recommended by the national body, which in turn set those standards based on international experience and consultation. Smooth inshore waters in Tasmania are not the most dangerous inshore waters in the world.

So in answer to your question, they probably would rather have no one competing than risk anyone being hurt in an event they organised. Yes Minister, no one can die in a hospital with no patients.

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Pirate, why not lodge a request for redress on the basis that the RC, by changing the NOR after entries closed, have adversely affected your finishing position (by preventing you from starting).  If you get a good PC (or even better, a jury) you can argue your case for common sense ...

lydia may have some tips.

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13 hours ago, (p)Irate said:

Just to be clear - the issue of the radio is not the main problem. I could have bolted on an inoperable one or zip tied a handheld to the boat.

The issue is that the club changed the safety requirements after I had entered, after they had indicated that I had complied, changed the NOR after entries closed (Contrary to RRS 89.2b) in order to prevent me from competing. Aaarrrggghhh!!!

That does suck.

 

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19 minutes ago, Recidivist said:

Pirate, why not lodge a request for redress on the basis that the RC, by changing the NOR after entries closed, have adversely affected your finishing position (by preventing you from starting).  If you get a good PC (or even better, a jury) you can argue your case for common sense ...

lydia may have some tips.

I would love to do so, but as Snoopy lost a request for redress last year after the same clubs changed their NOR requiring entrants to have a valid IRC or AMS certificate before the summer pennant series, allowed some boats to enter the series without a certificate, then when they presented the certificates after the first race had been conducted, the clubs recalculated and backdated the results. I repeat, Snoopy LOST the process and the results stood.

I've got no chance in an atmosphere like that!!

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19 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

Why do they want to stop you competing? I'm curious because pretty much every club I've visited is desperately trying to encourage anyone they can find to participate in whatever race they can put together that will attract enough boats to enable a start...

Cheers,

              W.

Some clubs hire lawyers to stop people entering! 

 

Now why arnt fleets growing again?

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1 hour ago, Bro.Town said:

My god, the amount of time you have spent complaining and writing about this you could have just installed a VHF and got on with it?

And instead of wasting one of your total 20 brave posts on this you could have at least fucked off and written something constructive somewhere else or posted a dick pick so we could have seen the most intelligent part of you.

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UPDATE 1: Not being an expert on the rules I presumed that the SI's if released after the NOR take precedence. Hence my comment that all the races in the series, even the sheltered harbour races were Cat 5 N as detailed in the SI's. The 2nd NOR however, says that this race would be Cat 7 (see pics). So in assuming that the SI's took precedence I didn't participate in any of the races. But apparently RRS 63.7 states that if there is a conflict between the NOR and the SI's then "the rule that will provide the fairest result to boats affected," will apply. So in this case would the fairest rule? The first NOR, the second NOR or the SI's?

NOR.png

SIs.png

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UPDATE 2: Considering RRS 63.7, which rule will provide the fairest result for the Summer Pennant Series? The NOR (Cat 5 plus fitted VHF for all races) or the SI's - races held in Storm Bay shall be Cat 5 (as amended), while all others shall be Cat 7? Or seeing as 23 or the 38 available courses don't go out into Storm Bay do you equip the boat for Cat 7 and play the odds?? The overall point to updates 1 and 2 is that people choose to enter on the basis of the NOR - that is the advertisement. For the Summer Pennant I wouldn't enter - the NOR says my boat isn't eligible. For the series last weekend I did enter - and later was led to believe I couldn't compete when the SI's were announced. How about some consistency and logic here?

People shouldn't have to resort to obscure rules like 89.2b and 63.7 for basic club racing.

Pennant NOR.png

SIs Pennant.png

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I note that the instruction says "fitted" not "permanently installed".   The wording is very specific.   The SR use the terms "fitted" "securely fitted" "fastened" "securely fastened" "Permanently installed" presumably, very specifically.   Of course the SR's also say the VHF for 5 is recommended to be permanently installed (not fitted).  But the SI's "Amend" that rule. 

To my interpretation, for what that's worth, a hand hold tethered into a bracket is "fitted" to the boat.   Get the right safety guy and you'll get sign off.

As to the protests, you can always appeal.  Very clear appeal path from club level upwards.  You might win on any one of the 5 interpretations that have been posted on the same concept.  They might just write clearer instructions in response.  Probably a win win either way.

How much do you like going sailing?  a simple vhf,  removable aerial, small portable battery, and wiring will set you back about $500 and about 5kg's.   Our club has made VHF's compulsory for Cat 7 after an incident last year.

*shrug*

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On 9/20/2019 at 7:46 AM, (p)Irate said:

Just to be clear - the issue of the radio is not the main problem. I could have bolted on an inoperable one or zip tied a handheld to the boat.

The issue is that the club changed the safety requirements after I had entered, after they had indicated that I had complied, changed the NOR after entries closed (Contrary to RRS 89.2b) in order to prevent me from competing. Aaarrrggghhh!!!

Yacht materially prejudiced by the race committee... what would your local Australian sailing rep say?

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I'd say you have every right to protest, as you suggest.

The real issue is do you want to be 'that bloke' - or just 'fit' your handheld, get the safety done, and run the races.

 

As Spoonie says - they double-fucked up, by using the words 'fixed' rather than 'permanently fitted'

 

A lack of entries and grumbling at the bar may force them to reconsider next year

 

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My experience has been that it is extremely rare to get a fair result when asking for redress against the actions of a race committee when heard by a committee appointed by that same club. Not impossible, but probably not worth the effort.

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Quite right Rawhide. The olde boy network is dying ever so slowly. The problem here appears to be the same the sailing world over.  We want entries, new boats and new members provided they don't beat the olde guard, do what they're told, agree with the rubbish handed down to them and be generally subservient until you get to top of the pecking order - at which time you'll be like those who went before you. Of course this all takes time and by the time you get there  there won't be many left competing . But what the hell . You'll be having fun..........with the few olde drunks around the yacht club bar

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The NOR and SI have very specific definitions, and  there have been tons of protests (and cases) defining their use over the years.  Generally they are defined as:

  - NOR - Defines "who" is eligible to enter the race.  Can define requirements on the boats such as certificates, minimum requirements of equipment, location, dates, etc

 - SI - They define "how" the race is run.  So the normal (courses, scoring, etc), but also can define times of day, how inspections or measurement can run, etc.

So you if the SI has a higher or different level of "requirement" for entry, the NOR would be the authority.  IF the NOR is silent on something, then the SI would take over.  But if the SI further restricts entry AFTER the NOR has allowed it most protests have found that this is improper.

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I feel your pain Pirate.

In a certain Victorian yacht club you can't race until all of your crew have been pressganged into either "day memeberships" at a cost of course, which are limited in number and when they run out the crew have to "apply" to become members.

All in the name of safety apparently.

And YOU call yourself a Pirate....

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  • 4 weeks later...

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment. Seems like someone connected with the aforementioned event leaked details of a marine traffic event (alleged CollRegs violation between a commercial power driven vessel and a competing sailing vessel) to the media, not necessarily because of the incident, but because of an ideological stance about the industry that the power driven vessel is engaged in. Let us hope that the leak didn't come from the organising authority yacht club.

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Quote from the ABC article....

"Rear commodore Will Justo from the Derwent Sailing Squadron (DSS) said the River Derwent and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel — the waterway between the mainland and Bruny Island — were already very busy."

Suuuuure it is. Every time I venture out from my bay, I'm confronted by a massive wave of boats such that it's difficult or impossible to even *see* Bruny Island.

Last time I had to dodge the Bruny Island ferry and a powerboat towing a couple of salmon pens. Even by my very low standards of competence, it wasn't exactly difficult.

Don't know what that idiot Justo was smoking, but I really hope he wasn't at the helm while he was doing it. Hope he never tries sailing on Sydney Harbour.

FKT

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On 9/24/2019 at 11:44 PM, theworm13 said:

The NOR and SI have very specific definitions, and  there have been tons of protests (and cases) defining their use over the years.  Generally they are defined as:

  - NOR - Defines "who" is eligible to enter the race.  Can define requirements on the boats such as certificates, minimum requirements of equipment, location, dates, etc

 - SI - They define "how" the race is run.  So the normal (courses, scoring, etc), but also can define times of day, how inspections or measurement can run, etc.

So you if the SI has a higher or different level of "requirement" for entry, the NOR would be the authority.  IF the NOR is silent on something, then the SI would take over.  But if the SI further restricts entry AFTER the NOR has allowed it most protests have found that this is improper.

You have not been reading the Australian Ailing thread then.

Everything you say there is complete bullshit

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On 10/20/2019 at 9:36 AM, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Quote from the ABC article....

"Rear commodore Will Justo from the Derwent Sailing Squadron (DSS) said the River Derwent and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel — the waterway between the mainland and Bruny Island — were already very busy."

Suuuuure it is. Every time I venture out from my bay, I'm confronted by a massive wave of boats such that it's difficult or impossible to even *see* Bruny Island.

Last time I had to dodge the Bruny Island ferry and a powerboat towing a couple of salmon pens. Even by my very low standards of competence, it wasn't exactly difficult.

Don't know what that idiot Justo was smoking, but I really hope he wasn't at the helm while he was doing it. Hope he never tries sailing on Sydney Harbour.

FKT

https://www.wwwlawyers.com.au/our-people/partners/

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6 hours ago, Pipe Dream said:

I was out sailing today in the same waters as Justo says is overcrowded with commercial vessels.

The horror of it - I had to deal with a total of *5* of them, the closest of which passed about 4 boat lengths away and waved as he went by. The others were clear by 500m or more.

Oh yes, there were 4 pleasure craft out there as well. Shocking level of crowding, really.

FKT

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14 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

I was out sailing today in the same waters as Justo says is overcrowded with commercial vessels.

The horror of it - I had to deal with a total of *5* of them, the closest of which passed about 4 boat lengths away and waved as he went by. The others were clear by 500m or more.

Oh yes, there were 4 pleasure craft out there as well. Shocking level of crowding, really.

FKT

I hope you didn't faint and collapse with the stress of a wonderful spring sail. I'm more than a little jealous.

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Will needs to go and sail in a harbour that has real traffic. Maybe even a couple of ferries.

The Derwent "busy" ?  .

Shit, my local dinghy club, with kids, has to deal with 20 knot river cats transiting our courses at 15 minute intervals, in a 100m wide choke point, with a wharf in it.

 

Brief your competitors and make sure they know the rules - that's how you 'avoid accidents' . Maybe he should wander down the corridor and talk to his worker's comp partner, who could brief him on due care?

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5 hours ago, Pipe Dream said:

I hope you didn't faint and collapse with the stress of a wonderful spring sail. I'm more than a little jealous.

It was so rough and stressful dodging all that marine traffic that I had to go out and do it all again today.....

Lunch in an anchorage without a single other boat. Carpet sharks swimming about under the boat, plenty of cuttlefish visible, schools of baitfish being chased by bigger fish. Drift back home at 2-3 knots because I was too lazy to raise more sail and only had 4 nm to go anyway.

Even the ferry drivers are friendly & courteous (unlike Sydney Harbour).

The stress of it all is wearing me down.

FKT

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I agree that it's not about having to fit a VHF. It's a principles thing.

It's about the level of inconsistency, incompetence and arse covering. It's about a culture of safety based on box ticking rather than on actual risk assessment and competence. Just like wearing safety glasses doesn't make you safe. 

Sounds like you've tried a logical discussion based approach so now what are your options? Don't enter the races, quit the club and then go out every time they're racing, dog them around the course and call Stb on them at every opportunity, and generally impede their race using the colregs?

Then go start your own club with blackjack and hookers. 

 

 

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14 hours ago, DrWatson said:

Sounds like you've tried a logical discussion based approach so now what are your options?

 

 

I'm getting the boat measured for IRC and will enter the IRC Nationals. Not eligible for the local pennant on the same waters so might as well sail in the Australian Championships - cue further crossover with the AS thread. Just waiting for someone to refuse my entry because I'm a bolshie prick.

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12 minutes ago, (p)Irate said:

I'm getting the boat measured for IRC and will enter the IRC Nationals. Not eligible for the local pennant on the same waters so might as well sail in the Australian Championships - cue further crossover with the AS thread. Just waiting for someone to refuse my entry because I'm a bolshie prick.

Calling them muppets seems to work.

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16 minutes ago, (p)Irate said:

I'm getting the boat measured for IRC and will enter the IRC Nationals. Not eligible for the local pennant on the same waters so might as well sail in the Australian Championships - cue further crossover with the AS thread. Just waiting for someone to refuse my entry because I'm a bolshie prick.

You also forgot to say:

I ride loud very fast motorcycles.

I work in the aquaculture industry (there is my problem isn't it)

I get to travel the world a lot.

But most importantly I know Turkey Slapper (I am gone for sure on the last one)

 

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4 hours ago, lydia said:

You also forgot to say:

I ride loud very fast motorcycles.

I work in the aquaculture industry (there is my problem isn't it)

I get to travel the world a lot.

But most importantly I know Turkey Slapper (I am gone for sure on the last one)

 

I think the Tasmanian clubs would be more concerned about the fact that I know you rather than my couple of meetings with TS.

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19 hours ago, (p)Irate said:

This beach is free too. And about as crowded as the nearby D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

Kent Beach Dover.jpg

Come on - I'm sure I can see foot prints on that beach. Therefore it's overcrowded.

Let's not give the mainlanders false ideas here. They can't go swimming as the water temp rarely gets over 12C and leopard seals patrol just off the foreshore area.

FKT

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13 minutes ago, snoopy said:

That's my mountain.

 

Haven't you looked inside the front cover the "The Hobbit".

Them there are the Misty Mountains and when the local hobbits go up and steal the dragons gold, the dragon comes down and burns the shit out of Dover.

That is what we tell the kids anyway.

Explains why the old timber mills last century got burnt out so often.

 

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20 hours ago, (p)Irate said:

I think the Tasmanian clubs would be more concerned about the fact that I know you rather than my couple of meetings with TS.

Ha ha ha I've never been to a Tassie yacht house! 

 

I know there isn't one between customs house, and the scallop pie shop!

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