Jump to content

Reasons to lose a protest


Recommended Posts

The most common reason why protests are lost is idiots posing as PC members. What are the other reasons you know a protest has been won or lost?
Personally, I know a protest where a guy had several beers too many before the hearing and was not really capable of showcasing his case. What else?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Checking the 2nd box is AFAICT the biggest single reason protests are lost. PCs are hard-wired to toss a protest before it gets off the ground, and get back to the beer. 

 

270767620_ScreenShot2021-02-11at3_21_17PM.thumb.png.cc3ac64a9260b0311f0f3a633bb3f312.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jackdaw said:

Checking the 2nd box is AFAICT the biggest reason protests are lost. PCs are hard-wired to toss a protest before it gets off the ground, and get back to the beer. 

 

270767620_ScreenShot2021-02-11at3_21_17PM.thumb.png.cc3ac64a9260b0311f0f3a633bb3f312.png

yep, had this happen many times when it should not have

FB- Doug

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not the Organising Authority and you live in Queensland Australia.

But then again, PC don’t actually have to give you a reason, you just have to turn up to lose.

Then you go to the Appeal where the Appeal members simply back the OA as the OA pay the wages.

Then Australian Sailing too gutless to consent to the referral to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Just saying

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

When the new boat in the fleet hasn’t won a race in 2 years and they win on corrected..

Guy on the committee boat puts up the wrong flag, has some kind of US Sailing certificate for running races.

We contact race committee immediately and pull out flag that we are protesting. 
Wednesday night race.

2 weeks later we find that another boat protests on what we called. We never went through with it being a Wednesday and the guy who won had never won yet. However the boat that went through with  the protest and got redress..

The judge who heard it was part owner of the boat that got redress.

and that is why I don’t race at that yacht club anymore.

never contacted or record of the hearing.

that boat finally beat for the season. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jackdaw said:

Checking the 2nd box is AFAICT the biggest single reason protests are lost. PCs are hard-wired to toss a protest before it gets off the ground, and get back to the beer. 

 

270767620_ScreenShot2021-02-11at3_21_17PM.thumb.png.cc3ac64a9260b0311f0f3a633bb3f312.png

If the PC is half way decent (and in my experience almost all are) the motivation is not to get back to the beer. This is a hugely insulting to those who volunteer their time to study the rules, get certified and then hear protests. 

The requirements for a valid protest are not remotely complex. They are there for good reasons. If your protests are getting tossed because they are too complicated for you consider a simpler sport. In your case, a simpler sport where good manners are not valued might be a wise choice. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

If the PC is half way decent (and in my experience almost all are) the motivation is not to get back to the beer. This is a hugely insulting to those who volunteer their time to study the rules, get certified and then hear protests. 

The requirements for a valid protest are not remotely complex. They are there for good reasons. If your protests are getting tossed because they are too complicated for you consider a simpler sport. In your case, a simpler sport where good manners are not valued might be a wise choice. 

I think you are are way overthinking that. The simple point is, the PC (and I serve as well) will go through the entire validity checklist to make sure everything is proper. One thing off, and it's off to the beer. I never said that it was done as a way do deny a valid protest, and I'm pretty sure that no PC walked away after dismissing one saying 'darn, I wish we could have stayed and heard that one'.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jackdaw said:
6 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

If the PC is half way decent (and in my experience almost all are) the motivation is not to get back to the beer. This is a hugely insulting to those who volunteer their time to study the rules, get certified and then hear protests. 

The requirements for a valid protest are not remotely complex. They are there for good reasons. If your protests are getting tossed because they are too complicated for you consider a simpler sport. In your case, a simpler sport where good manners are not valued might be a wise choice. 

I think you are are way overthinking that. The simple point is, the PC (and I serve as well) will go through the entire validity checklist to make sure everything is proper. One thing off, and it's off to the beer. I never said that it was done as a way do deny a valid protest, and I'm pretty sure that no PC walked away after dismissing one saying 'darn, I wish we could have stayed and heard that one'.

I'll say it

A LOT of PCs toss out valid protests because they are looking for excuses to do so. A favorite is the complaint by the protestee that it took too long for them to display a protest flag.

And good manners vary highly. A loud belch after dinner? A punch in the nose after you insult my manners? Perfect manners in many parts of the world.

- DSK

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jackdaw said:

I think you are are way overthinking that. The simple point is, the PC (and I serve as well) will go through the entire validity checklist to make sure everything is proper. One thing off, and it's off to the beer. I never said that it was done as a way do deny a valid protest, and I'm pretty sure that no PC walked away after dismissing one saying 'darn, I wish we could have stayed and heard that one'.

 

Fair enough. I have served on a lot of committees, and I have never been in one where the committee dismissed on validity grounds cavalierly or in order to avoid the work of going through the process. Quite to the contrary, most of the people I know who serve on juries enjoy it. Among other things, it makes us better sailors.

Folks would lose a lot fewer protests if they occasionally served on juries. Knowing things like time on distance makes for a much more credible presentation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

A punch in the nose after you insult my manners? Perfect manners in many parts of the world.

Please let me know where a punch in the nose is considered perfect manners so I can avoid those parts. You are right that belching can be good manners in some cultures. Insulting volunteers is not good manners in any culture of which I am aware.

There is a lot of precedent on what constitutes "first reasonable opportunity." 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

Please let me know where a punch in the nose is considered perfect manners so I can avoid those parts. You are right that belching can be good manners in some cultures. Insulting volunteers is not good manners in any culture of which I am aware.

There is a lot of precedent on what constitutes "first reasonable opportunity." 

There's also a lot of eagerness to follow bad precedent to throw out protests.

What should be the priority- "let's toss this protest against a racer who gained an advantage by breaking a right-of-way rule and risked a collision because the protestor did not have his flag up and flying in a split-second" OR "let's hear this protest and see if the protestor really delayed showing his protest flag for no good reason, and see if the protestee did or did not actually break a rule."

FB- Doug

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Steam Flyer said:

There's also a lot of eagerness to follow bad precedent to throw out protests.

What should be the priority- "let's toss this protest against a racer who gained an advantage by breaking a right-of-way rule and risked a collision because the protestor did not have his flag up and flying in a split-second" OR "let's hear this protest and see if the protestor really delayed showing his protest flag for no good reason, and see if the protestee did or did not actually break a rule."

FB- Doug

Any decent protest committee hears and rules on the question of validity prior to hearing arguments on the merits of the underlying protest. There are many circumstances under which the first reasonable opportunity is not a split second. This is the proper procedure.

I have never seen or heard of a PC that was eager to follow bad precedent.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

Any decent protest committee hears and rules on the question of validity prior to hearing arguments on the merits of the underlying protest. There are many circumstances under which the first reasonable opportunity is not a split second. This is the proper procedure.

I have never seen or heard of a PC that was eager to follow bad precedent.

That is the order of events.

1. Conflicts of interest 

2. Validity

3. The hearing itself where both sides get to lie through their teeth give their versions of the incident.

Protests do not in anyway conform to the accepted (or legal) norms of procedural fairness. As we have seen they are often just a protection racket. As an example one would think that the Chair of a protest committee being a commercial tenant of one of the parties would be a conflict of interest. Apparently not, and oddly enough the landlord won the last 4 protests involving them that the tenant chaired. Including a straight forward port/starboard, with the landlord being the one on port. The next P/S protest he was involved in (he has form at this) did not go so well for him, but that was held by another club.

Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, LB 15 said:

As an example one would think that the Chair of a protest committee being a commercial tenant of one of the parties would be a conflict of interest.

Are you still whining about something that happened, what two, three years ago now? Life’s not fair, but from the sounds of it, you’ve spent 40+ years pissing everyone off to give them a reason to want to screw you over.

  • Downvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Controversial_posts said:

Are you still whining about something that happened, what two, three years ago now? Life’s not fair, but from the sounds of it, you’ve spent 40+ years pissing everyone off to give them a reason to want to screw you over.

I thought protests were meant to be fair!

You must play a different sport!

Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Controversial_posts said:

Are you still whining about something that happened, what two, three years ago now? Life’s not fair, but from the sounds of it, you’ve spent 40+ years pissing everyone off to give them a reason to want to screw you over.

There is no statute of limitations on being a cunt as anyone who has engaged with you would well know. Since you know zero about the facts (no not the facts found but the actual facts) may I politely advise you to go eat a bag of dicks. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, gullwinkle said:

When the new boat in the fleet hasn’t won a race in 2 years and they win on corrected..

Guy on the committee boat puts up the wrong flag, has some kind of US Sailing certificate for running races.

We contact race committee immediately and pull out flag that we are protesting. 
Wednesday night race.

2 weeks later we find that another boat protests on what we called. We never went through with it being a Wednesday and the guy who won had never won yet. However the boat that went through with  the protest and got redress..

The judge who heard it was part owner of the boat that got redress.

and that is why I don’t race at that yacht club anymore.

never contacted or record of the hearing.

that boat finally beat for the season. 

 

 

Why did they not give redress to everyone in that fleet?

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

5 hours ago, Jackdaw said:

I'm pretty sure that no PC walked away after dismissing one saying 'darn, I wish we could have stayed and heard that one'.

Nope. This is wrong.

Maybe it’s true of ad hoc PCs composed of competitors reluctantly pressed into service. But it certainly doesn’t apply to organized PCs made up of certified judges.

Most judges - and all good ones - sincerely believe that the proper application and enforcement of the RRS contribute to the fairness of the sport. They dislike the idea of a competitor potentially ‘getting away with’ a violation because the protestor failed to observe Rule 61. But when it happens, there is nothing the PC can do to ‘fix’ the omission(s): fairness to the protestee precludes that. In any event, a PC clearly lacks discretion to overlook or excuse validity issues: Rule 63.5 is mandatory.

Aside from the above, let’s consider judges’ self-interest.

When I serve on a PC, the other judges and I want to decide cases. We enjoy the process and the learning opportunities, and have given up our day for that express purpose.

If we are obliged to declare a protest invalid, there is no fun and no learning. We have essentially wasted our time. Equally importantly, we will have nothing to enter in our judges’ activity logs, which are necessary to maintain certification and/or advance up the certification ladder. So we are not happy.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, 100% of protests are lost by someone. Frequently loss is due to one party or another (or both) not understanding the rules (and not the complicated ones, usually the simple ones). So protestees usually lose because they broke a rule, or protestors lose because they alleged a breach that wasn't (or sometimes on validity - but that's not the PC's fault).

I believe that most juries do their level best (which, granted, is sometimes not very good if it's an ad hoc PC with little experience or training) to determine if a rule was broken or not. But recognize this often isn't an easy call when you get credible but conflicting accounts of what happened from the parties, and jury conclusions sometimes have to rest on a very narrow balance of probabilities.

Good North U article here, oriented at sailors rather than judges, about how to do a protest.

As a judge, although I enjoy hanging around a nice yacht club and the energy of regatta day, it's much more fun and rewarding if there's some business to do.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There's an IJ from this island who tells a really cute story about a protest at an Optimist event held in Northern Ireland, back in the 70s or 80s.

Little kid comes into the room on what is probably his first ever time in there, and sits down on the chair, across the table from a row of imposing adults. The PC Chairman leans across the table and, in a strong Northern accent, demands of the kid. "Well, young man, are you the protestor or the protestee?"

The poor child, completely overwhelmed and intimidated, responds, "No Sir, I'm a Catholic!"

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

the original poster sounds like they have lost a couple protests.

They are implying it is the quality of the protest committee.   Sounds like a bad woodworker blaming their tools for poor results.

 

There are lots of rules for sailing.  Those include protests.  And just like the rest of the rules, you do not get to cherry pick the ones you want enforced and the ones you rather ignore.


Have an issue with time limits to file?  At least tell the RC after the race you plan to file so they can prepare a PC on land.  You can raise them on the radio if you think they will be in a sequence when you arrive near the RC boat.    No mentions of your protest and you show up 30 minutes after the cut off time, there is not reason for them to make an exception as you have shown disregard for the process including the RC being able to say you were flying a protest flag when crossing the finish line.  The minute  I am made aware of a protest as PRO, I write down the time, the boat hailing and then call ashore to get a PC ready to go. That way we have fresh qualified personnel to administer it.

 Why is your protest flag not in the cockpit?  All the other racers have it there?   How is the boat you want to protest supposed to know you are going to protest them and not just shooting off your mouth?  You are removing their ability to do alternatives like 720s.   It also keeps nearby boats who may be able to offer testimony from knowing this is a legit protest.  If there was not damage and/or injury, there is no reason not to be able to display the protest flag.  If your protest gets tossed because you decided to wait 3 minutes, well next time you will be remember not to screw around and pop it immediately.

Show up with a valid filled out protest.   Not some piece of chicken scrawl saying your were wronged as this is no country and western song.   I have had a protest handed in on a greasy pizza box (the inside of it).  We accepted it but you are losing credibility quickly.

 

Lets explain the other side of "they want to get back to drinking beer".   If the RC is also doing the PC, they likely started early in the morning to get logistics done (marks inflated, courses laid out, food and drink for regatta members etc).  After running races all day in the heat, they had to put everything away, score races and make sure any issues for the next day are being taken care of.  They are tired and would like to relax with everyone else, but no, there is a protest to deal with.   Their spouses show up at 4  showered and with a fresh set of clothes for them to enjoy the evening as they have already paid for their dinner tickets, but that protest has to be dealt with first.  If the protest has been done by the rules, this is a quibble and the spouse will understand, but if a protester has been not following the rules, OR  cannot be found for the protest meeting dragging things out, they are not going to be happy having their evening ruined because you think you have been wronged.

 

Play by ALL the rules and protests go well.

Which leads us to your original question on how to lose a protest.

as other have said, know the rules. The rule(s) should be spelled out in your protest.  If you are new and do not know which rules apply, ask another racer to help you with your protest before you submit it. If you are quoting the wrong rule your credibility is going to take a hit and anyone you protested who has been in "the room" with any regularity is going to eat you alive in questioning. 

Make sure your witnesses actually saw something before you parade them in front of the PC.  Nothing worse than a crew who has no clue what this is all about other then they heard you screaming you were wronged.  Most embarrassing incident I witnessed was the wife (little old lady) of a rookie protestor who basically told the exact opposite story of her husband. Must have been a great drive home that night for them.

Have diagrams and times between maneuvers  if possible on your protest as in many cases it makes your case more credible. 

Keep the rhetoric to a minimum.  It is a protest meeting, not a murder trail and most of us are sailors and hate lawyers who twist words.  We are there to find who broke a rule so it can be a learning experience.  There is no vendetta no matter how much the offender pissed you off.  and going after a PC member who is trying to understand your chicken scrawl is not stupid, just having issues with YOUR handwriting. which leads to

Do not drink before your protest. Alcohol exacerbates aggression and dulls your senses (eg you missed what someone said).  I have seen too many protestors dig their own grave not on their protest but at a club by showing up intoxicated and making an ass of themselves in front of the most experienced racers.

Attend other protests so you are comfortable with the process.  In fact if you did this, you would not have to ask your question in the first place. You would know the reasons from watching many protest meetings.  If you lose a protest, I would suggest asking others what you did wrong so the next time your presentation is better.  This council should not come from your crew or buddies.  It is asking an admired racer who was in the room listening to the protest.  And best to wait an hour or day so you have cooled off and can receive and process any criticism along with techniques to correct the deficiency.

 

So go into a protest meeting looking only to educate the offender for the good of the sport, and give the PC a break as they are volunteers.    And volunteer to sit on PCs prior to the regatta to help take the workload off the PRO.  I am sure they will appreciate your help and insight in interpreting the rules.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/12/2021 at 7:08 AM, tamkvaitis said:

The most common reason why protests are lost is idiots posing as PC members. What are the other reasons you know a protest has been won or lost?
Personally, I know a protest where a guy had several beers too many before the hearing and was not really capable of showcasing his case. What else?

Ignorance?

Not knowing how it works?

No witnesses?

Serial offender?

But the main one in your case could be, thinking that you are always right regardless of the outcome, that you cannot possibly be wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/12/2021 at 7:57 AM, SF Woody Sailor said:

If the PC is half way decent (and in my experience almost all are) the motivation is not to get back to the beer. This is a hugely insulting to those who volunteer their time to study the rules, get certified and then hear protests. 

The requirements for a valid protest are not remotely complex. They are there for good reasons. If your protests are getting tossed because they are too complicated for you consider a simpler sport. In your case, a simpler sport where good manners are not valued might be a wise choice. 

I completely agree. Most or should I say MOST people who are or strive to follow the judge or umpire route are putting back into the sport they love. Anyone who has NOT attempted to 'climb that ladder' would NOT realise that seminars attended, events judged or umpired are usually on the officials own dollar and only once you climb high enough is any recompense made - not even travel or accommodation expenses. Usual break even point is once "International" is in front of your qualification. By then usually '000's of $ have been spent for the benefit of others.

At club level i have always found that those who moan loudest are those who have never given up a single race to be the other side of the flags or the table and in my experience there are multiple "keen" racers who actually aren't keen enough to study the rule book properly. 

A good first step to winning a protest is to actually protest properly in the first place. An Oppie sized red rag waved at chest height on a 40 footer is hardly displaying conspicuously as required by the rules and "hoi you, sail your proper course" does not comply with the requirements either.

The comment up thread about protests thrown out because they aren't valid is the racers' fault, not the jury's.  Should we expect the jury who are there to arbitrate who broke a rule or not to actually bend of the fundamental elements of a protest? If juries are expected to "cut some slack" how much slack do they cut? and where does the lack of respect for the letter of the rules end.

Do judges or umpires make mistakes? Of course they do, they are human but if sailors were so perfect judges and umpires would not be needed. In fact often our simple  presence on the race course prevents a lot of rules breaking in the first place.

Post 28 just upthread by 'foreverslow' is excellent - also clearly showing the frustration of those who give up their time to help facilitate a good event.

Rant over

SS

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Both foreverslow and Shanghaisailor are spot on. I have not been around this place much the last couple years, when I do I find the same people whining about the same things. How handicappers, race committees and protest committees, all volunteers ruined their recreational sailing. Trust me, there are far more fun things I could be doing than providing the organization for you to race. I like my vacation time as much as you do.

If I have to drive in 40 minutes each way to hear a protest, how is it in my interest to chuck it on validity to make it go away?. The rules and cases that further clarify those rules govern pc actions. As said above, understand those rules and processes.  If you, as a party to a protest feel anyone on the pc hearing it is biased or unfair, or has not disclosed a material conflict of interest, you have the right to ask for a replacement. It may delay the hearing, but it is your right under the rules. 
 

Also understand that we are charged with finding the facts of what happened. If you present disjointed or conflicting information, or witnesses that can’t coherently and succinctly state what they actually saw that has relevance, that doesn’t help you. Be concise, be accurate, with timing and state facts, without embellishment or color. “If Bob wasn’t such a poor sailor I would have crossed” isn’t going to get you far.

As for getting back to the beer, if I am hearing protests there is no alcohol until the hearings are done. Please do us the same courtesy and don’t show up hammered, protests can be heated at the best of times, and alcohol has never led to increased rational thought. As said above, you lose credibility, and the best protest chairs don’t tolerate it or allow alcohol in the room.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, barleymalt said:

Both foreverslow and Shanghaisailor are spot on. I have not been around this place much the last couple years, when I do I find the same people whining about the same things. How handicappers, race committees and protest committees, all volunteers ruined their recreational sailing. Trust me, there are far more fun things I could be doing than providing the organization for you to race. I like my vacation time as much as you do.

If I have to drive in 40 minutes each way to hear a protest, how is it in my interest to chuck it on validity to make it go away?. The rules and cases that further clarify those rules govern pc actions. As said above, understand those rules and processes.  If you, as a party to a protest feel anyone on the pc hearing it is biased or unfair, or has not disclosed a material conflict of interest, you have the right to ask for a replacement. It may delay the hearing, but it is your right under the rules. 
 

Also understand that we are charged with finding the facts of what happened. If you present disjointed or conflicting information, or witnesses that can’t coherently and succinctly state what they actually saw that has relevance, that doesn’t help you. Be concise, be accurate, with timing and state facts, without embellishment or color. “If Bob wasn’t such a poor sailor I would have crossed” isn’t going to get you far.

As for getting back to the beer, if I am hearing protests there is no alcohol until the hearings are done. Please do us the same courtesy and don’t show up hammered, protests can be heated at the best of times, and alcohol has never led to increased rational thought. As said above, you lose credibility, and the best protest chairs don’t tolerate it or allow alcohol in the room.

 

 

 

 

No comment needed other than "Well Said barleymalt" 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, barleymalt said:

Both foreverslow and Shanghaisailor are spot on. I have not been around this place much the last couple years, when I do I find the same people whining about the same things. How handicappers, race committees and protest committees, all volunteers ruined their recreational sailing. Trust me, there are far more fun things I could be doing than providing the organization for you to race. I like my vacation time as much as you do.

If I have to drive in 40 minutes each way to hear a protest, how is it in my interest to chuck it on validity to make it go away?. The rules and cases that further clarify those rules govern pc actions. As said above, understand those rules and processes.  If you, as a party to a protest feel anyone on the pc hearing it is biased or unfair, or has not disclosed a material conflict of interest, you have the right to ask for a replacement. It may delay the hearing, but it is your right under the rules. 
 

Also understand that we are charged with finding the facts of what happened. If you present disjointed or conflicting information, or witnesses that can’t coherently and succinctly state what they actually saw that has relevance, that doesn’t help you. Be concise, be accurate, with timing and state facts, without embellishment or color. “If Bob wasn’t such a poor sailor I would have crossed” isn’t going to get you far.

As for getting back to the beer, if I am hearing protests there is no alcohol until the hearings are done. Please do us the same courtesy and don’t show up hammered, protests can be heated at the best of times, and alcohol has never led to increased rational thought. As said above, you lose credibility, and the best protest chairs don’t tolerate it or allow alcohol in the room.

 

 

 

 

You are clearly not from anywhere I live

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also not mentioned yet, is that to keep our certifications current, we must participate in valid hearings with facts found. If anything, we are incentivized to hear protests, not toss them as invalid. Shoot, I just attended 3 nights of virtual "protest day" to help sharpen my skills. Next month, I'm doing  a 4 day advanced judge course. I do this to give back. I've been on the party side of the table plenty and it's my duty to give back and do it well. As we transition to more and more virtual hearings, being younger is a huge asset to that process. I'm not that young, but I'm usually the youngest guy at the table by a large margin. 

All of that said, if I don't follow the rules to the letter, I will be overturned on appeal. There is very little room for me to insert my opinions when considering whether or not to hear a protest. Once we decide on the facts of the case, we apply the rules to the facts.

We all make mistakes, and that's what the appeals process is for. I have no beef with you appealing my procedure or results. If I made a mistake, you deserve to have that corrected. If I didn't, you'll learn more about the process and the rules. Inevitably, even if the result stands, I'll have learned something about the process that makes me better next time. 

Cheers. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/12/2021 at 12:47 AM, Svanen said:

 

Nope. This is wrong.

Maybe it’s true of ad hoc PCs composed of competitors reluctantly pressed into service. But it certainly doesn’t apply to organized PCs made up of certified judges.

Most judges - and all good ones - sincerely believe that the proper application and enforcement of the RRS contribute to the fairness of the sport. They dislike the idea of a competitor potentially ‘getting away with’ a violation because the protestor failed to observe Rule 61. But when it happens, there is nothing the PC can do to ‘fix’ the omission(s): fairness to the protestee precludes that. In any event, a PC clearly lacks discretion to overlook or excuse validity issues: Rule 63.5 is mandatory.

Aside from the above, let’s consider judges’ self-interest.

When I serve on a PC, the other judges and I want to decide cases. We enjoy the process and the learning opportunities, and have given up our day for that express purpose.

If we are obliged to declare a protest invalid, there is no fun and no learning. We have essentially wasted our time. Equally importantly, we will have nothing to enter in our judges’ activity logs, which are necessary to maintain certification and/or advance up the certification ladder. So we are not happy.

You missed my point in post #11.

The largest % of protests (AFAICT) are lost BEFORE the hearing starts, because of black&white procedural rules that allow a protest to be heard are not followed. Before any facts are heard, (as you know) these are checked. Miss one, and the protest is lost. Then it's beer time. There is zero value in playing out a scenario that can't be ruled on. If you play in an area where that is not true then OK, but you must not hear many protests.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Jackdaw said:

You missed my point in post #11.

The largest % of protests (AFAICT) are lost BEFORE the hearing starts, because of black&white procedural rules that allow a protest to be heard are not followed. Before any facts are heard, (as you know) these are checked. Miss one, and the protest is lost. Then it's beer time. There is zero value in playing out a scenario that can't be ruled on. If you play in an area where that is not true then OK, but you must not hear many protests.

 

Perhaps what you meant to say is "I usually lose my protests before the hearing starts because I am too much of a moron to follow the simple black and white procedural rules required to file a valid protest. I forget the red flag, or I forget to say protest, or I forget to file the protest on time. I cannot keep track of three things because I am a halfwit."

In your post #11 you said "I'm pretty sure that no PC walked away after dismissing one saying 'darn, I wish we could have stayed and heard that one'."

This is 100% factually incorrect horseshit as you will learn if you either read this thread or talk to anyone who regularly serves on protest committees or talk to a certified judge. Quite to the contrary, it is very common for a protest committee to be frustrated that it cannot hold a hearing on the merits.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

Perhaps what you meant to say is "I usually lose my protests before the hearing starts because I am too much of a moron to follow the simple black and white procedural rules required to file a valid protest. I forget the red flag, or I forget to say protest, or I forget to file the protest on time. I cannot keep track of three things because I am a halfwit."

In your post #11 you said "I'm pretty sure that no PC walked away after dismissing one saying 'darn, I wish we could have stayed and heard that one'."

This is 100% factually incorrect horseshit as you will learn if you either read this thread or talk to anyone who regularly serves on protest committees or talk to a certified judge. Quite to the contrary, it is very common for a protest committee to be frustrated that it cannot hold a hearing on the merits.

 

Someone piss in your breakfast cereal?

I've actually never lost a protest. yep 100%.Because I know how they are won, and how they are lost. And when I'm wrong I spin.  I'm just reporting what I've seen, and served on.  International judges, perfectly OK to see protests dismissed on technicalities. Merits? LOL.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Jackdaw said:

You missed my point in post #11.

The largest % of protests (AFAICT) are lost BEFORE the hearing starts, because of black&white procedural rules that allow a protest to be heard are not followed. Before any facts are heard, (as you know) these are checked. Miss one, and the protest is lost. Then it's beer time. There is zero value in playing out a scenario that can't be ruled on. If you play in an area where that is not true then OK, but you must not hear many protests.

 

The black & white procedural rules for a valid protest aren't difficult:

  1. Make your hail (if required)
  2. Fly your flag (if required)
  3. File in writing before the protest time limit
  4. Identify the incident in the written protest. Note that identifying the incident is all that's required to file. You don't have to identify the protestee (although that's required before the hearing) or the correct rule. And a greasy pizza box is an acceptable form.

That's it. It's not that high a bar, and the protest committee doesn't really have the latitude to ignore it if the competitor hasn't cleared it.

That said, I think there is a difference between an ad hoc PC assembled at the last minute because everyone was hoping there would be no protests and a committee of qualified judges. The former probably do often want to find an excuse to kill a protest so they can get to the bar. The latter are generally eager to hear a case, but bound by the validity requirements. They might even tend to allow a "leaner", but recognize that would be subject to appeal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

4 hours ago, Jackdaw said:

You missed my point in post #11.

The original point you made was

On 2/12/2021 at 8:24 AM, Jackdaw said:

Checking the 2nd box is AFAICT the biggest single reason protests are lost. PCs are hard-wired to toss a protest before it gets off the ground, and get back to the beer. 

270767620_ScreenShot2021-02-11at3_21_17PM.thumb.png.cc3ac64a9260b0311f0f3a633bb3f312.png

I absolutely agree with Woody

On 2/12/2021 at 10:57 AM, SF Woody Sailor said:

This is a hugely insulting to those who volunteer their time to ... hear protests. 

You then said

Quote

The largest % of protests (AFAICT) are lost BEFORE the hearing starts, because of black&white procedural rules that allow a protest to be heard are not followed. Before any facts are heard, (as you know) these are checked. Miss one, and the protest is lost. Then it's beer time. There is zero value in playing out a scenario that can't be ruled on. If you play in an area where that is not true then OK, but you must not hear many protests.

I think this is way off the mark.

In my experience

  • Most protests proceed to a conclusion that a boat broke a rule and address penalty.
  • Between 10 and 15 % of protests are declared invalid and not further heard.

The main reason protests are invalid is that the competitors making those protests make little effort to acquaint themselves with or comply with the rules.

Anybody who has a protest declared invalid when it shouldn't be, can and should appeal.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, all the trash talking aside, I'll try to address the original question:

What are the reasons why boats lose protests?

Reasons are:

  • Boat comes out on the wrong side of a contest about facts, either
    • Qualitative:  for example: Were boats overlapped or clear ahead/astern?
    • Quantitative:  for example:  Were boats 2 metres apart or 10 metres apart?
  • Boat misunderstood interactions between rules, for example right-of-way vs room or [lack of] interaction  between rule 11 and rule 17.
  • Boat misunderstood or did not apply a definition:  for example 'overlap' (opposite tacks downwind), or the non-definition 'overtaking'.
  • Difference in judgement, for example what is/was 'enough' room.

Anyone got anything to build on that?

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Brass said:

OK, all the trash talking aside, I'll try to address the original question:

What are the reasons why boats lose protests?

Reasons are:

  • Boat comes out on the wrong side of a contest about facts, either
    • Qualitative:  for example: Were boats overlapped or clear ahead/astern?
    • Quantitative:  for example:  Were boats 2 metres apart or 10 metres apart?
  • Boat misunderstood interactions between rules, for example right-of-way vs room or [lack of] interaction  between rule 11 and rule 17.
  • Boat misunderstood or did not apply a definition:  for example 'overlap' (opposite tacks downwind), or the non-definition 'overtaking'.
  • Difference in judgement, for example what is/was 'enough' room.

Anyone got anything to build on that?

misunderstanding what the rule actually says. Often brought on by understanding rules from 20 years ago and not taking in changes

FB- Doug

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

misunderstanding what the rule actually says. Often brought on by understanding rules from 20 years ago and not taking in changes

FB- Doug

Over the years I have noticed that the same people who are not up on the current rules due to skipping the free seminars to discuss rule changes are the same people who blow off the free sail trimming, race tactics, and crew management seminars.   And funny thing is, they are usually the same folks who get their asses handed to them on the water.

 

At the same time, the folks who win all the time always seem to be at those seminars and it is not to brag/ bust chops,  but to see if they can pick up something they may have missed over the years. 

 

But blaming others is soooo easy...  ;<)

Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Foreverslow said:

Over the years I have noticed that the same people who are not up on the current rules due to skipping the free seminars to discuss rule changes are the same people who blow off the free sail trimming, race tactics, and crew management seminars.   And funny thing is, they are usually the same folks who get their asses handed to them on the water.

 

At the same time, the folks who win all the time always seem to be at those seminars and it is not to brag/ bust chops,  but to see if they can pick up something they may have missed over the years. 

 

But blaming others is soooo easy...  ;<)

Well, the misbehavior of Protest Committees is a real thing. I am glad to hear from all the people who say they've never experienced it, or it never happens in their area. That's great!

But it's one of the reasons why sailing is declining dying. Racings sailboats is a lot of fun, but there certainly is a killjoy brigade and they are generally the ones who are sticking with it. When it comes to rules, that can be anything from blowing off the rules and "just have fun sailing" (my take on that- great until your first collision or scary near-miss) to being loud and insistent on rules minutiae, yes you're absolutely right now shut the fuck up and let me OUT OF HERE!

It's very important to have a good balance... that includes getting the rules right, of course

FB- Doug

Link to post
Share on other sites

From my point of view as PC, the primary reason one side loses the protest and the other side wins, is the logical consistency, or lack thereof, of the 'facts' presented.  In almost all cases, the two sides will present interpretations of the encounter that cannot possibly exist in the same universe.  I wouldn't say that one side or the other is necessarily lying (I think that is rare, actually), just that they see the situation from their own viewpoint, strongly influenced by what favors their case.  So when presented with two opposing stories, and in the lack of reliable witnesses, I will find in favor of the party whose story best holds together under scrutiny.  Unfortunately, sometimes the wrong party is tossed, simply because their preparation and presentation of their case was not as strong as the other.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, occasionally a better prepared presenter sways a jury to come to the wrong conclusion.

Happened to me at a long-ago Suncoast Race Week. I was the third member of a Protest Committee with the other two being a married couple. The one boat had a skilled attorney boat owner presenting; the other a relatively new sailor with English a second language.

After tossing the second boat due to the other two PC members being adamant that it was correct, we found out from others at the party outside that what we heard was not at all correct. The boat we tossed was the leeward boat and the other had driven down on him to keep from going over the line before the start. 

I asked the faulted skipper to come back to the room or appeal. No, he was done with sailboat racing. Don't blame him.

That was 30 years ago.

Think it bothers a volunteer to get it wrong? Absolutely. But, we keep doing RC and PC work, despite the griping from some who seem entitled without giving back to the sport.

Dave Ellis 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

You cannot expect to win a protest (which by it's nature alleges that someone else broke a rule) if you do not comply with the rules regarding making a protest.

I would not regard myself as an expert but the first steps in a hearing should always include:

1) Conflict of interest or objections to the committee personnel (I once informed a protestee that my son was the protestor but we were very tight for committee members, he accepted the situation but my son objected! i withdrew to the bar greatly relieved.)

2) The committee then considers validity in private, considerations include the time limit, flying a flag, hailing protest, timely informing of the protestee (which must be at the first reasonable opportunity), capacity to protest and an allegation of breaking a rule.

All of these must be satisfied. However the committee may waive some requirements but must justify such a waiver.

3) Hearing proceeds or is tossed.

In my experience most committees do their best to abide by the rules both for holding a hearing and adjudicating on the evidence presented.

Some witnesses provide great amusement to the committee, for example at on Oppy event one sailor in the regatta fleet sought redress as she claimed the RO had made an error in her finishing position. She duly produced a witness who told us that protestor had finished in 5th place and she knew this because  her friend had told her so before the hearing. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, after reading these comments im now confused!

 

Its looking like there can be outside influences steering these decisions! 

 

Curious but, is it common, or allowed to ask, after the hearing-after the regatta to have the verdict explained to you of why, how you lost the protest, what definitions were alledgedly broken, distances to be apart etc? My experiences so far is that is not allowed/normal!  Makes it hard to learn for the future for us amateurs! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

misunderstanding what the rule actually says. Often brought on by understanding rules from 20 years ago and not taking in changes

FB- Doug

Often brought on by *not* understanding the rules from 20 years ago let alone taking in anything since... I think the most common reason people lose protests is because they appear to be in the wrong. Trouble is human memory is so selective it doesn't take long for people to remember what they wish had happened.

Maybe the biggest challenge for protest committees is to communicate with the loser. Think we've all seen someone come on here blazing about a terrible injustice which turns out not to be an injustice at all, and then, after numerous folk try and fail to explain to them exactly why they were in the wrong, we hear them still bleating on endlessly about the non existent injustice...

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you fail to follow the simple protocol of protesting, you don't lose, you simply don't have a protest. 

If you break the rules, you should lose. There are very few cases where there's ambiguity after all of these years, and appeals. 

Not withstanding that, the only protests I have been in in the last decade were protesting a tacking too close (tossed due to no flag, though a red shirt was flown within 30 seconds) and being protested for supposedly being out of bounds, (should have been tossed because it took 5 minutes to find a red jacket in lieu of a flag). The first was club level "judges" who didn't want there to be a protest, and the 2nd was invited regional judges who drove over for the occasion and heard the protest, even though it was moot based on the timing... 

The protestor was miffed to have the judges warmly greeting my tactician (who was at the time, the SFBAY regional chair of Judges and a National Umpire) and asking him the details of the rules interpretations... 

She was not persuasive in her presentation that looking ahead of her boat, she could judge the placement of mine at > 1/4 mile with respect to a boundary I was sailing parallel to. 

(There are appeals that note the difficulty in judging distances in depth vs angular separation.) 

She was not prepared to dispute a "forensic" replay of the race that took the difference in finishing times, and the last point of proximity and proved that she was at least that far, and showed where she would have been to have a sight line.

For what it's worth, when you are sailing > 40 sec a mile slower than your rating, it's not terribly convincing, to protest the boat you give 50 sec a mile to, that is actually winning on raw time... 

Being the kind helpful soul that I am, I did order some Red spinnaker cloth and velcro from Sailrite and run off 18" Code B flags for my entire fleet, so that there would be no reason to embarrass ourselves having to fly laundry in a beercan... 

Being the bloody minded skipper, I made myself a 54" wide Code B just so there would be no argument on it's being sufficiently "Large", as there's not a definition of what is big enough

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you fail to follow the simple protocol of protesting, you don't lose, you simply don't have a protest. 

If you break the rules, you should lose. There are very few cases where there's ambiguity after all of these years, and appeals. 

Not withstanding that, the only protests I have been in in the last decade were protesting a tacking too close (tossed due to no flag, though a red shirt was flown within 30 seconds) and being protested for supposedly being out of bounds, (should have been tossed because it took 5 minutes to find a red jacket in lieu of a flag). The first was club level "judges" who didn't want there to be a protest, and the 2nd was invited regional judges who drove over for the occasion and heard the protest, even though it was moot based on the timing... 

The protestor was miffed to have the judges warmly greeting my tactician (who was at the time, the SFBAY regional chair of Judges and a National Umpire) and asking him the details of the rules interpretations... 

She was not persuasive in her presentation that looking ahead of her boat, she could judge the placement of mine at > 1/4 mile with respect to a boundary I was sailing parallel to. 

(There are comments in the Appendix section M that note the difficulty in judging distances in depth vs angular separation.)

From RRS: M7 PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE

Photographs and videotapes can sometimes provide useful evidence but protest committees should recognize their limitations and note the following points:

● The party producing the photographic evidence is responsible for arranging the viewing.

● View the tape several times to extract all the information from it.

● The depth perception of any single-lens camera is very poor; with a telephoto lens it is non-existent. When the camera views two overlapped boats at right angles to their course, it is impossible to assess the distance between them. When the camera views them head on, it is impossible to see whether an overlap exists unless it is substantial.

● Ask the following questions: • Where was the camera in relation to the boats? • Was the camera’s platform moving? If so in what direction and how fast? • Is the angle changing as the boats approach the critical point? Fast panning causes radical change. • Did the camera have an unrestricted view throughout? 

She was not prepared to dispute a "forensic" replay of the race that took the difference in finishing times, and the last point of proximity and proved that she was at least that far, and showed where she would have been to have a sight line.

For what it's worth, when you are sailing > 40 sec a mile slower than your rating, it's not terribly convincing, to protest the boat you give 50 sec a mile to, that is actually winning on raw time... 

Being the kind helpful soul that I am, I did order some Red spinnaker cloth and velcro from Sailrite and run off 18" Code B flags for my entire fleet, so that there would be no reason to embarrass ourselves having to fly laundry in a beercan... 

Being the bloody minded skipper, I made myself a 54" wide Code B just so there would be no argument on it's being sufficiently "Large", as there's not a definition of what is big enough

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Turkey Slapper said:

Curious but, is it common, or allowed to ask, after the hearing-after the regatta to have the verdict explained to you of why, how you lost the protest, what definitions were alledgedly broken, distances to be apart etc? My experiences so far is that is not allowed/normal!  Makes it hard to learn for the future for us amateurs! 

Absolutely you can ask for the decision to be explained.

What you can expect to get is an explanation of how the rules applied.

What you can't expect is an explanation of how or why the protest committee found the facts that they did.  That's a bit like a court jury not explaining how they made their decision.

As a judge, I don't like doing explanations immediately after the hearing because I have just gone to a lot of trouble to write a proper decision which should require no explanation, and until the parties read the written decision, they can hardly claim that they don't understand it.  Also, immediately after a hearing, people are still a bit wound up, and not necessarily all that receptive to explanations.

It may well be that I'll want to wait 15 days before discussing the protest to ensure that any mistake or misunderstanding of what I say won't lead to a valid appeal.

If you have difficulty understanding a protest decision, here's what I suggest you do.

First step is get the written protest decision and study it with the rules book open and try to understand how the protest committee applied the rules to the facts they found (not the facts you wanted them to find), to reach the conclusions about what boat broke what rules.

Then look at the Facts Found and identify those Facts Found that were different from the facts you wanted the committee to find, and review your notes and recollection of the hearing to see why or how you didn’t bring enough weight of evidence to convince the protest committee of ‘your’ facts.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Turkey Slapper said:

Well, after reading these comments im now confused!

 

Its looking like there can be outside influences steering these decisions! 

 

Curious but, is it common, or allowed to ask, after the hearing-after the regatta to have the verdict explained to you of why, how you lost the protest, what definitions were alledgedly broken, distances to be apart etc? My experiences so far is that is not allowed/normal!  Makes it hard to learn for the future for us amateurs! 

I can assure you that when I am on the Protest Committee, then at least one PC member stays late to explain the rules, how they were applied this time, and any definitions applied.

You're right, it's an important role to fulfill. The better sailors understand the rules, the smoother everything goes and in general the happier IMHO.

Not even an exception for one of the last protests I've heard, a couple years ago, in the last race of a high point series: a boat observed another boat hitting a mark and not making a penalty turn. It was basically a "He said, he said" situation. Skipper of the protested boat B was sitting on the leeward side and steering around the windward mark as teh crew hoisted the spinnaker, except for a brief moment he had the mark in his sight at all times and cleared it by 1.5 ~ 2 meters because he wanted to be sure to clear the anchor line. His spinnaker did not touch the mark, either. The protesting boat A was on the same tack, astern by 30 ~ 40 meters and slightly to windward. Boat A kept repeating two statements, "I know for a definite (absolute!) fact that he hit the mark" but could not say if the mark was in contact with the stern as Boat B went by, if it had snagged the anchor line, or the mark was rotating from the contact (common in light air), etc etc. He also kept repeating "I do not have a dog in this fight" although the series score showed that if Boat B was dropped from this race, he would win the series. The PC decided we simply did not have solid enough evidence to award a DSQ to Boat B, to skipper A's loud chagrin. I stuck around for about ten minutes to try and explain to him that we were doubtful of his being able to see the mark and contact thru the hull of Boat A, and his loud repeated say-so was firstly not enough evidence without credible details and also his credibility was undercut by trying to say he had no interest in the outcome when he would win the series if his protest was upheld. He wanted to bitch at somebody so I gave him ten minutes and that was plenty for me, hope it was for him.

- DSK

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't tell me in local club racing that the PC (more specifically the chairperson) doesn't already have a natural bias towards one party before the details of the protest are heard.

The boat I sail on was involved in a, believe it or not, Port/Starboard collision. The other vessel rounded the top mark and lost control, Chinese gybed and slammed into the side of us. The skipper on Port even has a history of tipping out into other vessels. 

You'd think it would be clear cut but the chairperson heavily influenced the deliberation and ruled in favour of the vessel on port. I can guarantee you this was purely personal. How do I know this? I was on the PC. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, twistandtape said:

You can't tell me in local club racing that the PC (more specifically the chairperson) doesn't already have a natural bias towards one party before the details of the protest are heard.

The boat I sail on was involved in a, believe it or not, Port/Starboard collision. The other vessel rounded the top mark and lost control, Chinese gybed and slammed into the side of us. The skipper on Port even has a history of tipping out into other vessels. 

You'd think it would be clear cut but the chairperson heavily influenced the deliberation and ruled in favour of the vessel on port. I can guarantee you this was purely personal. How do I know this? I was on the PC. 

Are you familiar with the difference between anecdote and data?

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Turkey Slapper said:

Well, after reading these comments im now confused!

 

Its looking like there can be outside influences steering these decisions! 

 

Curious but, is it common, or allowed to ask, after the hearing-after the regatta to have the verdict explained to you of why, how you lost the protest, what definitions were alledgedly broken, distances to be apart etc? My experiences so far is that is not allowed/normal!  Makes it hard to learn for the future for us amateurs! 

Thought you were smarter that that.

You lost the protest because you are Turkey Slapper, no other reason.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Turkey Slapper said:

Well, after reading these comments im now confused!

 

Its looking like there can be outside influences steering these decisions! 

 

Curious but, is it common, or allowed to ask, after the hearing-after the regatta to have the verdict explained to you of why, how you lost the protest, what definitions were alledgedly broken, distances to be apart etc? My experiences so far is that is not allowed/normal!  Makes it hard to learn for the future for us amateurs! 

What I have mostly done after reaching a decision is to inform both parties of the decision, and then close the hearing.

I then buy both parties a drink (if they are happy to stay) and I can answer any questions, or explain our reasoning.

This has worked very well.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

As a matter of procedure, I read the facts, conclusions, and decision, then state that this hearing is closed. I follow that up with, "Do you have any questions?" If it is clear someone isn't understanding, I encourage the talk, assuming emotions aren't heated and we don't have a line of hearings behind that one. If we can't do it then, I certainly offer to discuss once the "deck is clear" or people have calmed down.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well let's talk about hearings with juniors. hey can be very interesting and rewarding. 

 

 

5 hours ago, Brass said:

Absolutely you can ask for the decision to be explained.

What you can expect to get is an explanation of how the rules applied.

What you can't expect is an explanation of how or why the protest committee found the facts that they did.  That's a bit like a court jury not explaining how they made their decision.

As a judge, I don't like doing explanations immediately after the hearing because I have just gone to a lot of trouble to write a proper decision which should require no explanation, and until the parties read the written decision, they can hardly claim that they don't understand it.  Also, immediately after a hearing, people are still a bit wound up, and not necessarily all that receptive to explanations.

It may well be that I'll want to wait 15 days before discussing the protest to ensure that any mistake or misunderstanding of what I say won't lead to a valid appeal.

If you have difficulty understanding a protest decision, here's what I suggest you do.

First step is get the written protest decision and study it with the rules book open and try to understand how the protest committee applied the rules to the facts they found (not the facts you wanted them to find), to reach the conclusions about what boat broke what rules.

Then look at the Facts Found and identify those Facts Found that were different from the facts you wanted the committee to find, and review your notes and recollection of the hearing to see why or how you didn’t bring enough weight of evidence to convince the protest committee of ‘your’ facts.

\

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, twistandtape said:

You can't tell me in local club racing that the PC (more specifically the chairperson) doesn't already have a natural bias towards one party before the details of the protest are heard.

The boat I sail on was involved in a, believe it or not, Port/Starboard collision. The other vessel rounded the top mark and lost control, Chinese gybed and slammed into the side of us. The skipper on Port even has a history of tipping out into other vessels. 

You'd think it would be clear cut but the chairperson heavily influenced the deliberation and ruled in favour of the vessel on port. I can guarantee you this was purely personal. How do I know this? I was on the PC. 

You are from Brisbane, Port always wins there, everyone knows that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/15/2021 at 12:43 PM, SF Woody Sailor said:

Perhaps what you meant to say is "I usually lose my protests before the hearing starts because I am too much of a moron to follow the simple black and white procedural rules required to file a valid protest. I forget the red flag, or I forget to say protest, or I forget to file the protest on time. I cannot keep track of three things because I am a halfwit."

In your post #11 you said "I'm pretty sure that no PC walked away after dismissing one saying 'darn, I wish we could have stayed and heard that one'."

This is 100% factually incorrect horseshit as you will learn if you either read this thread or talk to anyone who regularly serves on protest committees or talk to a certified judge. Quite to the contrary, it is very common for a protest committee to be frustrated that it cannot hold a hearing on the merits.

 

Spot on Woody. The number of times i have seen a protest form as a judge and thought "This one looks interesting" only to then look at when it was filed and see it is 10 minutes after the time limit or some other reason to invalidate it. If you don't expect a judge or umpire to play to the rules 100% then you are in the wrong game -go take up tiddlywinks or something else equally inane.

Being successful in our sport does take a modicum of intelligence but how much (or how little) is needed to remember to fly the flag so it can be seen and shout one word, just ONE WORD. Then of course to get the form, fill it in and present it within the time limit -  that first beer can surely wait!

And if the PC hears an invalid protestee complaining about their protest being invalidated they should be invited back into the room to discuss the importance of the reputation of our sport - you know what I mean, there is little worse than bad mouthing someone because they have played by the rules when you expected them to do otherwise.

I apologise if it sounds like i am going on but this is one of my real hot buttons. How much more would these people's club racing fees be or their regattas cost if volunteers didn't give up their equally valuable leisure time to put back into their sport which clearly means so much to them. Even the professional and/or qualified officials got there after significant personal (non-recoverable or deductible) expense in terms of time, money and effort to help racing be fair to all concerned. And it often isn't just the race officials who are maligned - what about those who sit on committees at club level, often without so much of a word of thanks except from the Commodore at the (poorly attended) club AGM.

And for those who do help? Don't we find that most of the criticism comes from those who never do lift even a finger to assist with any aspect of our sport?

Sorry, but the song remains the same and it is usually sung by the same selfish people who expect others to do all the work.

I am fortunate that the vast majority that i have ruled on accept the judgement and/or the penalty, perhaps with disappointment, but at least with good grace especially after we have explained the reasoning behind the decision and (hopefully) they go away a little better informed how the game works. One or two have tried to go to the OA to claim they were right (when clearly wrong) - they soon learn - and the sport is better for that learning process.

Hey ho - it is what it is but if judges  and/or umpires don't maintain the high ground then where would our sport be?

See you on the water - I'll be the one with the flags;)

SS

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, ScowLover said:

As a matter of procedure, I read the facts, conclusions, and decision, then state that this hearing is closed. I follow that up with, "Do you have any questions?" If it is clear someone isn't understanding, I encourage the talk, assuming emotions aren't heated and we don't have a line of hearings behind that one. If we can't do it then, I certainly offer to discuss once the "deck is clear" or people have calmed down.

Yeah, I think the important part is "this hearing is closed." Frequently in the explanation phase the competitor who lost will want to continue to argue their case, why the facts or conclusions were wrong, you didn't properly consider this or that, etc., etc.

When I see that happen I'll usually tell them that the hearing has been closed, the decision is what it is and they have the right to file an appeal if they think it's wrong but the PC is not going to reverse itself now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Yeah, I think the important part is "this hearing is closed." Frequently in the explanation phase the competitor who lost will want to continue to argue their case, why the facts or conclusions were wrong, you didn't properly consider this or that, etc., etc.

When I see that happen I'll usually tell them that the hearing has been closed, the decision is what it is and they have the right to file an appeal if they think it's wrong but the PC is not going to reverse itself now.

I've personally seen 3 RRS 69 hearings commence not long after the "hearing is closed" statement is made - in all three cases the protest panel and parties retired back to the bar and a physical fight broke out! In one of the instances it was a panel member who threw the first punch after being called 'a muppet' by the Protestee.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TheUltimateSockPuppet said:

I've personally seen 3 RRS 69 hearings commence not long after the "hearing is closed" statement is made - in all three cases the protest panel and parties retired back to the bar and a physical fight broke out! In one of the instances it was a panel member who threw the first punch after being called 'a muppet' by the Protestee.

Is that how they do appeals in your part of the world?

 

;-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Yeah, I think the important part is "this hearing is closed." Frequently in the explanation phase the competitor who lost will want to continue to argue their case, why the facts or conclusions were wrong, you didn't properly consider this or that, etc., etc.

When I see that happen I'll usually tell them that the hearing has been closed, the decision is what it is and they have the right to file an appeal if they think it's wrong but the PC is not going to reverse itself now.

You also publish Reasons and Facts Found don't you!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is also best the PC publishes different versions of Reasons and Fact Found in my part of the world.

Just in case your first go at it does not get the pre-determined outcome you want.

Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Livia said:

It is also best the PC publishes different versions of Reasons and Fact Found in my part of the world.

Just in case your first go at it does not get the pre-determined outcome you want.

I find it easier to find the facts and write up the conclusion before the protestor and protestee present their arguments - that way you don't have to listen too intently to the he said / she said argument

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, TheUltimateSockPuppet said:

I've personally seen 3 RRS 69 hearings commence not long after the "hearing is closed" statement is made - in all three cases the protest panel and parties retired back to the bar and a physical fight broke out! In one of the instances it was a panel member who threw the first punch after being called 'a muppet' by the Protestee.

I've heard a Jury be called a kangaroo court....but nobody threw a punch. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

As to the topic of bias against one competitor, I am sure everyone involved does their absolute best to make sure this isn't a factor. It is often the case that someone is a serial barger, consistently does not allow room at the mark, or some other persistent behaviours until someone protests them causing the previous actions have some bearing on the current case. To balance this, those same competitors in my experience are the people with a cute little smile after bending the rules and says something like "just like in Nascar, if you aren't cheating you aren't trying". 

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, danstanford said:

As to the topic of bias against one competitor, I am sure everyone involved does their absolute best to make sure this isn't a factor. It is often the case that someone is a serial barger, consistently does not allow room at the mark, or some other persistent behaviours until someone protests them causing the previous actions have some bearing on the current case. To balance this, those same competitors in my experience are the people with a cute little smile after bending the rules and says something like "just like in Nascar, if you aren't cheating you aren't trying". 

The egregious bullying that has happened on occasion, which finally prompts a protest generally doesn't result in "bias" shown in the judging, but it may result in some sotto voce discussions and whispered appreciation for someone finally standing up. 

It can't have bearing on current case. " there was Dave, barging as usual" is meaningless... even if Dave is protested weekly for it. 

The "sharp sailors" who press and bullyrag and make irrelevant hails are not necessarily cheating, though they may be flirting with the penumbra of poor sportsmanship. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Knowingly making a false hail is a textbook example of a sportsmanship violation.

Making a lot of irrelevant hails is 95% there, IMHO... I've sailed in a number of fleets where some of the top guys were hecklers. They sound like a Little League bench harassing a nervous batter. Except I'm not nervous, I just start telling them rather loudly about how their breath reveals last time they had fish for dinner, and their wife put in too much onions. And other helpful hints.

FB- Doug

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread.  Disappointing, but not new.

OK - https://www.sailingworld.com/how-to/what-you-can-do-after-you-lose-protest/  An old but pertinent article by Dick Rose.

In addition to the list started by Brass, I'll add a real statistic.

People lose protest hearings simply because the committee got it wrong.  Not because they were eager to get to the bar.  Not because, they had bias or were lenient towards one boat, or decided to skip procedure.  Not for any of the reasons presented by Jackdaw or the others.

Two reasons:

1.  There is not enough evidence presented to the committee.
2.  The committee is simply not experienced enough or knowledgeable enough with the rules and the procedure.

The rules make allowance for both of these issues.  So should sailors.

1.  Standard of Proof - How much evidence is required to make a decision?

The new rule 64.1 puts into black & white what has been the case for a long time.  That protest committees must make a decision based on 'the balance of probabilities'.

For anyone not familiar with this phrase, it simply means 'what was the most likely course of events?'  Unlike a murder trail where the standard must be extremely high ('beyond all reasonable doubt'), the sailing standard is the lowest.

Very often in sailing there is little or no evidence.  Instead, the protest committee hears a 'he-said, she-said' kind of argument between the parties, with the only fact they can agree on being something trivial like the wind speed!  Yet a decision must be made in order to resolve the competition.

By setting the standard of proof so low, a decision can be made with little evidence.  The problem is that such cases then rely on the quality of the testimony, and the likelihood of scenarios happening.  A boat arguing they flipped 6 heads out of 10 should lose against the one arguing they flipped 5!

It is clear now in 64.1 for competitors to see - if you haven't got evidence (and especially if your version is the less likely one), then expect to go into the protest room with a 50/50 or less chance of winning!  That's the rules.

2.  Appeal System - The committee didn't follow procedure or didn't know the rules

The rule writers very well know that many clubs around the world suffer from not having abundance of experts to man their protest committees.  So all competitors have the right to first ask for a reopening, and second appeal.

The only presumption the rules make is that the protest committee at least have minimal sailing experience.  (We can't pull anyone off the street and hope they could hear a protest.)

Dick Rose's article stands true today, on this issue so no need to elaborate here.

So I think it is important for competitors to understand that the system is not perfect / does not produce perfect results.  It's the best there is though.  This cold hard fact should be incorporated into a competitor's mindset when deciding to compete (accepting the rules), tactics when engaging other boats, and decision making when deciding whether to take a penalty on the water or go to the protest room.

If people understand this, losing in the room becomes less of a big deal.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/12/2021 at 9:07 AM, LB 15 said:

 

Protests do not in anyway conform to the accepted (or legal) norms of procedural fairness. As we have seen they are often just a protection racket. As an example one would think that the Chair of a protest committee being a commercial tenant of one of the parties would be a conflict of interest.

A US court case in 1995 found otherwise:

Furthermore, the procedures established by the IYRR meet the requirements of due process:  there is appropriate written notification of the allegations, notice is given of the hearing;  the parties are allowed to appear and present evidence and witness testimony;  they may also cross-examine opposing witnesses and argue orally;  and generally, engage in all those accepted activities held so dear by common law lawyers.   Finally, a written decision, in which findings of fact are made and fault apportioned, is issued to all interested parties.   Equally important, the evidence is heard soon after the events take place by a panel of experts who are fully versed in the niceties of the activity in question.   It is hard to find fault with such a process, particularly when it is exactly what the participants agreed to.

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1316530.html

The only variation (if not an international jury) is the 'panel of experts.. fully versed in the niceties of the activity in question'...but that's a relative term anyway.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Dog Watch said:

A US court case in 1995 found otherwise:

Furthermore, the procedures established by the IYRR meet the requirements of due process:  there is appropriate written notification of the allegations, notice is given of the hearing;  the parties are allowed to appear and present evidence and witness testimony;  they may also cross-examine opposing witnesses and argue orally;  and generally, engage in all those accepted activities held so dear by common law lawyers.   Finally, a written decision, in which findings of fact are made and fault apportioned, is issued to all interested parties.   Equally important, the evidence is heard soon after the events take place by a panel of experts who are fully versed in the niceties of the activity in question.   It is hard to find fault with such a process, particularly when it is exactly what the participants agreed to.

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1316530.html

The only variation (if not an international jury) is the 'panel of experts.. fully versed in the niceties of the activity in question'...but that's a relative term anyway.

I wonder if the Judge who made this finding would have excused himself from hearing this case if one of the parties was his landlord? 

Link to post
Share on other sites