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When a penalty isn't a penalty?


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Just back from a couple of regattas at sunny Port Stephens and I'm still scratching my head in wonderment. Last day saw 2 races (W/L) to complete a 6 race (no drop) series. Race 5 - P&S incident 2 mins off the start line screwed our race (we were S). P boat refused to do turns - we took it to the room. Prior to the hearing Arbitration was undertaken. I was asked the usual "Did you hail? What did you hail? did you fly a flag? When?" by the "Arbitrator". I answered all in textbook fashion. I was then told bluntly that I'd struggle to get that up in a hearing (WTF?) The arbitrator continued to try and dissuade me from proceeding....(presentation was just upcoming and the result of a protest would likely affect the result)....the attitude was hostile and aggressive from the start. We took it to the room - with witnesses the case was open & shut. Facts found confirmed our claim. Now.......the SI's had been amended earlier in the event to permit penalty discretion. The decision taken was to penalise the other boat 5 regatta points.....just enough to have no impact on results.

So...a P&S (rule 10) with no penalty on the offender and no adjustment for the yacht materially prejudiced.....This was a major regatta with professional jurors and race administrators. I've never experienced this before.

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How many points away above the next boat were they? Were there any other penalties (Rule 10 or otherwise) in the same event that received more or less points off? Just trying to understand

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20 minutes ago, Couta said:

Now.......the SI's had been amended earlier in the event to permit penalty discretion.

What did the SI amendment say?

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25 minutes ago, Couta said:

Just back from a couple of regattas at sunny Port Stephens and I'm still scratching my head in wonderment. Last day saw 2 races (W/L) to complete a 6 race (no drop) series. Race 5 - P&S incident 2 mins off the start line screwed our race (we were S). P boat refused to do turns - we took it to the room. Prior to the hearing Arbitration was undertaken. I was asked the usual "Did you hail? What did you hail? did you fly a flag? When?" by the "Arbitrator". I answered all in textbook fashion. I was then told bluntly that I'd struggle to get that up in a hearing (WTF?) The arbitrator continued to try and dissuade me from proceeding....(presentation was just upcoming and the result of a protest would likely affect the result)....the attitude was hostile and aggressive from the start. We took it to the room - with witnesses the case was open & shut. Facts found confirmed our claim. Now.......the SI's had been amended earlier in the event to permit penalty discretion. The decision taken was to penalise the other boat 5 regatta points.....just enough to have no impact on results.

So...a P&S (rule 10) with no penalty on the offender and no adjustment for the yacht materially prejudiced.....This was a major regatta with professional jurors and race administrators. I've never experienced this before.

Couta, that is because you have not sailed in Qld recently.

The AS system of dispute resolution is so broken.

Wait to you get to Appeals level.

Straight out dishonesty and corruption.

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39 minutes ago, Livia said:

Couta, that is because you have not sailed in Qld recently.

The AS system of dispute resolution is so broken.

Wait to you get to Appeals level.

Straight out dishonesty and corruption.

The chairman of the jurors was wearing an RQYS shirt. 

 

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37 minutes ago, Randro said:

What did the SI amendment say?

9.4 In accordance with RRS 64.2 the Jury may award a disqualification or a scoring penalty which may include no penalty.

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FACTS
1. The PC accepted that the protestor had hailed "protest" and displayed a red flag.
2. 9930 and B347 were sailing to windward on starboard tack with 9930 to windward of B347.
3. B347 tacked onto port approximately 1 boat length from 9930.
4. 9930 hailed starboard.
4. 9930 believed that B347 was not keeping clear and altered course to avoid contact.
4. B347 bore away and passed less than 1m astern of 9930.
5. There was no contact.

CONCLUSIONS
1.B347 on port tack failed to keep clear of 9930 on starboard tack. RRS 10.
2. 9930 took action to avoid contact with B347 as required by RRS 14.

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Immediate reaction is disgusted.

The "Penalty" was NOT a penalty therefore the rule breaker, having been found guilty got away with it.

 

 

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Just now, shanghaisailor said:

Did the jury introduce themselves and allow you to raise concerns regarding 'Conflict of Interest'?

Yes...a perfunctory introduction..as is customary. Technically they had the right to do what they did - but a blatant P/S with major interference in close company, just off the startline - that's not a minor infraction in any race I've ever done. The conclusion from the behaviour and decision making of the jury was that there was a reluctance to interfere with the overall result. As for appealing? What are the grounds? SI's give discretion...and what are the chances of an appeal overturning the penalty on a reappraisal of the severity of the rule breach? Unlikely me thinks.

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So with the penalty, B347 remained in 1st overall by 1 point but would have dropped to 7th with a DSQ.  You finished in 6th overall.

B347 did pass astern, so other than a late alteration he did not benefit from the foul. (Interested to hear if you believe otherwise)

Jury past judgement on your protest that even though he was technically wrong, it was not enough to take his trophy away. (Was it dangerous or was there never a doubt that the collision would be avoided?)

I am of two minds as to whether it is a good amendment and ruling.

No, I was not at the event and do not even sail in AUS.

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Seen this happen at a number of different levels and classes.

Not only are juries unwilling to make big calls when they are required, but they do often allow themselves to be influenced by who those involved are.

But one aspect that does really trouble me, is that juries also believe they have the right to 'discount' rule breaches as they have here.  In otherwords they decided that it didn't really matter anyway.  I have seen this done when a breach was of class rules that the jury considers not affecting performance.

Doesn't matter which way you spin this, it sounds like a dangerous maneuver and you were correct in taking action and protesting.

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1 hour ago, Couta said:

FACTS
1. The PC accepted that the protestor had hailed "protest" and displayed a red flag.
2. 9930 and B347 were sailing to windward on starboard tack with 9930 to windward of B347.
3. B347 tacked onto port approximately 1 boat length from 9930.
4. 9930 hailed starboard.
4. 9930 believed that B347 was not keeping clear and altered course to avoid contact.
4. B347 bore away and passed less than 1m astern of 9930.
5. There was no contact.

CONCLUSIONS
1.B347 on port tack failed to keep clear of 9930 on starboard tack. RRS 10.
2. 9930 took action to avoid contact with B347 as required by RRS 14.

Out of curiosity, what was the change of course you made when you believed B347 wasn't keeping clear?

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2 hours ago, Couta said:

The chairman of the jurors was wearing an RQYS shirt. 

 

Portly chap? Was he the arbitrator as well?

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1 hour ago, Couta said:

Yes...a perfunctory introduction..as is customary. Technically they had the right to do what they did - but a blatant P/S with major interference in close company, just off the startline - that's not a minor infraction in any race I've ever done. The conclusion from the behaviour and decision making of the jury was that there was a reluctance to interfere with the overall result. As for appealing? What are the grounds? SI's give discretion...and what are the chances of an appeal overturning the penalty on a reappraisal of the severity of the rule breach? Unlikely me thinks.

If the head juror being the commercial tenant of one of the parties in a protest he is hearing is not a COI in Australian sailing, then this would have no legs. 

And just for the record the land lord won all three hearings that their tenant adjudicated on.

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Fairness of the protest hearing aside (and I agree from what you've presented it sounds messed up), this occurred 2 minutes after the start and it sounds like you just had to alter course a bit but were able to continue on starboard. Did that really bugger the entire rest of the race for you? 

I think you'd have a hard time making an appeal stick. The jury did conclude that Port broke RRS 10 and assessed a penalty that the SI gave them discretion to assess. I'm not sure an appeal panel would be able to weigh in on whether the penalty was appropriate or not. 

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2 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Immediate reaction is disgusted.

The "Penalty" was NOT a penalty therefore the rule breaker, having been found guilty got away with it.

 

 

I dunno.

Process sounds messed up but I'm not sure the result is. It's not much different than giving someone an excludable DSQ - they throw out that race and their regatta score isn't worsened by the penalty. And it sounds like they did wind up with a 30% scoring penalty in that race, same as they could have accepted in App T arbitration.

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42 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

Did that really bugger the entire rest of the race for you? 

So breaking rules doesn't matter if it doesn't impact anyone else?

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49 minutes ago, jackattack said:

Reading the protest outcome it appears the Arbitration penalty was applied to Race 5. (SI 10 & RRS Appendix T). I read this to be a 30% scoring penalty

What was not clear in the original post is whether B347 was willing to accept the arbitration penalty.  If so, then there is more sense in the Jury just deciding that the 30% is the right penalty to apply.  The 4 points wasn't an arbitrary number that just kept the boat having 1st place.

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44 minutes ago, jackattack said:

Reading the protest outcome it appears the Arbitration penalty was applied to Race 5. (SI 10 & RRS Appendix T). I read this to be a 30% scoring penalty

I see, so it was a 4 point penalty, not 5-and not totally arbitrary.

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13 minutes ago, LB 15 said:

So breaking rules doesn't matter if it doesn't impact anyone else?

Of course it does. But in this case the violator was found to have broken a rule and a penalty was assessed. The PC can't really help the boat that got screwed, all they can do is penalize the other fellow.

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10 minutes ago, dtoc said:

What was not clear in the original post is whether B347 was willing to accept the arbitration penalty.  If so, then there is more sense in the Jury just deciding that the 30% is the right penalty to apply.  The 4 points wasn't an arbitrary number that just kept the boat having 1st place.

Sounds to me more like 9930 was unwilling to withdraw the protest even though the arbitrator opined (incorrectly, as it turned out) that it would fail on validity.

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21 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

Sounds to me more like 9930 was unwilling to withdraw the protest even though the arbitrator opined (incorrectly, as it turned out) that it would fail on validity.

If it was a presiding Juror who offered that opinion prior to the hearing then they make the system look pretty foolish. 

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I would appeal. An appeal is only considered on the basis of the Facts found - and this case they are very straight ahead that B347 broke Rule 10.

It sets an awful precedent if upheld as a fair result.

I totally disagree with any posters above who seem to think that it's only a little nuisance. This is a major, if not THE major rule in the RRS. If we say, oh that one doesn't matter, then where do we draw the line? 

If it was as blatant as it seems, B347 is lucky they weren't score DNE, as they broke Rule 2 by not taking a penalty.

Unfortunately however the time for an appeal may have already passed.

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3 minutes ago, mccroc said:

I would appeal. An appeal is only considered on the basis of the Facts found - and this case they are very straight ahead that B347 broke Rule 10.

It sets an awful precedent if upheld as a fair result.

I totally disagree with any posters above who seem to think that it's only a little nuisance. This is a major, if not THE major rule in the RRS. If we say, oh that one doesn't matter, then where do we draw the line? 

If it was as blatant as it seems, B347 is lucky they weren't score DNE, as they broke Rule 2 by not taking a penalty.

Unfortunately however the time for an appeal may have already passed.

'Blatant' is in the eyes of the beer holder. Also I don't think the extent of the penalty is grounds for an appeal. I may be wrong however. I often am.

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Something was a bit shitty with the handicapping at SPS. Sister ships given vastly different handicaps put in different divisions. Then after 2 races, the boat in the lower division took a massive handicap hit +0.119   

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1 minute ago, mccroc said:

I would appeal. An appeal is only considered on the basis of the Facts found - and this case they are very straight ahead that B347 broke Rule 10.

It sets an awful precedent if upheld as a fair result.

I totally disagree with any posters above who seem to think that it's only a little nuisance. This is a major, if not THE major rule in the RRS. If we say, oh that one doesn't matter, then where do we draw the line? 

If it was as blatant as it seems, B347 is lucky they weren't score DNE, as they broke Rule 2 by not taking a penalty.

Unfortunately however the time for an appeal may have already passed.

That is extreme.  There is no basis to say that because someone didn't do turns that they violated Rule 2 Fair Sailing.  This happens all of the time and very likely B347 didn't feel that an alteration was needed / they kept clear.

I'm not saying that it was "only a little nuisance" but to get to Rule 2 the violation has to be much greater and intentional with the possibility of getting witnesses to falsify their statements.

Anyway, the impact to 9930 is very unlikely to be corrected.  It is a very high bar to get redress from a foul where you can keep sailing.

30% per NoR/SI based on arbitration level and move on.  This was not the Etchells Worlds or Olympics qualifier.  It was a regional fun regatta under handicap just after long COVID "pauses"

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If B347 had taken their on-the-water turns penalty would/should 9930 still have protested? Would B347 have finished 4 places worse if she'd done turns 2 minutes into the race? (who knows?) 

If B347 had accepted a 30% scoring penalty in arbitration would 9930 have withdrawn her protest or insisted on her right to a hearing? 

In either case, wouldn't the jury have likely concluded that B347 had taken an appropriate penalty for breaking rule 10 and not further penalized her?

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Just now, TJSoCal said:

If B347 had taken their on-the-water turns penalty would/should 9930 still have protested? Would B347 have finished 4 places worse if she'd done turns 2 minutes into the race? (who knows?) 

If B347 had accepted a 30% scoring penalty in arbitration would 9930 have withdrawn her protest or insisted on her right to a hearing? 

If my Aunt had balls would she be my Uncle?

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If a yacht is found that they blatantly broke Rule 10 - heard the hail, saw the other change direction, and then didn't take a penalty, then it is not drawing a long bow to consider rule 2, as they are also breaking RRS 44.1. Th attitude of the protestee would come in to it.

As far as "This was not the Etchells Worlds or Olympics qualifier.  It was a regional fun regatta under handicap just after long COVID "pauses" -so you are saying, then unless it is a major regatta then the rules don't matter? Look at how many entrants there were, and what trophies were awarded - far more than a "fun regatta".

Arbitration is not meant to force protestors to withdraw their protest. I am not a fan of Arbitration as I feel it belittles the process. To me that is what happened in this case.

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11 minutes ago, The Dark Knight said:

Something was a bit shitty with the handicapping at SPS. Sister ships given vastly different handicaps put in different divisions. Then after 2 races, the boat in the lower division took a massive handicap hit +0.119   

'Friends' don't let friends sail PHS.

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6 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

If B347 had taken their on-the-water turns penalty would/should 9930 still have protested? Would B347 have finished 4 places worse if she'd done turns 2 minutes into the race? (who knows?) 

If B347 had accepted a 30% scoring penalty in arbitration would 9930 have withdrawn her protest or insisted on her right to a hearing? 

In either case, wouldn't the jury have likely concluded that B347 had taken an appropriate penalty for breaking rule 10 and not further penalized her?

Again that is the whole point of the RRS - if a yacht breaks a rule they take a penalty. If the protestee had done their turns then 9930 could have asked for their protest to be withdrawn, and it probably would have been.

Yes, if B347 had taken an appropriate penalty, which in this case would have only been a "one-turn" penalty, then she could not be further penalised, again that's why the RRS are written the way they are - to encourage yachts to do the right thing.

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Don't get too existential about it.

A penalty that appears to not be arbitrary was given by the jury.  Trying to beat down weekend warriors is not helpful, that's my point about the level of the event.

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OK - dug a little deeper. Fleet was 13. 

According to Couta SI's included alternative penalties.

B347 lost the protest but was awarded an alternative penalty.

Scoring penalty according to RRS 44.3 scoring penalty would be 20% of DNF = 14 *20% with rounding to nearest whole number.

So 2.8 rounded to 3. 30% = 4.2 rounded down to 4 - as per the rules and SIs

My understanding is that if arbitration is accepted then the 30% alternative comes into play

It needs to be remembered the scoring penalty is on the race in question and the performance in the race not the regatta.

So given that, the committee doesn't appear to have been 'gentle' to the rule breaker.

My previous comment appears to have been a bit 'knee jerk' and incorrect. 

You break the rule - DSQ unless you take an alternative penalty, the RRS already allow for such an alternative - the number of turns in the SIs. Why do we bother with alternative alternatives?

In my view lesser penalties only encourage rule breaking because the penalty (note the word comes from the Latin for 'pain') causes less pain to the guilty party and is open to interpretation.

One of the faults in this situation is that the arbitrator - basically a jury of one - gave an opinion that the larger jury disagreed with perhaps cassing doubts in the protestor's mind.

@mccroc Your comment is only correct if B347 knew and believed they broke a rule and didn't take a penalty. I have seen multiple occasions where a P boat ducks the S boat and is confident they kept clear but the term 'reasonable apprehension' comes into play (see Case 50)

Play the tape mentally - 2 boats on S, Leeward one believes they can tack and duck W. It becomes P & S.

P ducks but S doesn't think there is space so luffs to avoid, P crosses 1m behind believing his manoeuvre kept him clear - Perhaps still RRS 10 but no RRS 2 at all.

HOWEVER, if we then dig into Appendix T - Arbitration we find a different slant.

T 1(a) states that a boat may take an alternative penalty AT ANY TIME UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF A PROTEST HEARING.

It does appear that if the protest goes to the full protest hearing the option of an alternative penalty is withdrawn therefore the awarding of a 4 point addition to the score is incorrect. 

I haven't seen this interpretation tested so am unsure, i am just reading what the RRS states.

Just my opinion.

What'cha think?

SS

 

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Thanks for the feedback and opinion - to be clear, our boat was in a clear air stbd line up with a plan to maintain stbd tack and the LHS of course....the incident forced us to luff near head to wind to avoid serious contact. Our recovery to stbd tack left us in a fleet of bad air and forced us to tack to clear it....clear loss of advantage.

I think we've flogged this dead horse long enough...the point was that the process of arbitration felt very much like bullying by the jury representative to withdraw...and the penalty was not reflective of the seriousness of the fundamental rule breech. A collision was very narrowly avoided by our quick action...as the facts found confirm. Also...Port tacker acknowkledged breech and hailed..."We owe you one!". They stated that in the room. So...no effective penalty for gross breach of fundamental rule.

As I said in the OP, I've never encountered this before. 

 

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2 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

 

HOWEVER, if we then dig into Appendix T - Arbitration we find a different slant.

T 1(a) states that a boat may take an alternative penalty AT ANY TIME UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF A PROTEST HEARING.

It does appear that if the protest goes to the full protest hearing the option of an alternative penalty is withdrawn therefore the awarding of a 4 point addition to the score is incorrect. 

I haven't seen this interpretation tested so am unsure, i am just reading what the RRS states.

Just my opinion.

What'cha think?

SS

 

The SIs specifically allow for the arbitration penalty to be applied by the PC

10 ARBITRATION
10.1 Arbitration in accordance with RRS Appendix “T” will be used.
10.2 Protests not resolved by Arbitration, for any subsequent protest hearing the penalty given for a breach of a rule of Part 2 may be the arbitration penalty.
10.3 The arbitrator may be a member of any subsequent protest committee or may observe and give testimony to the protest committee. This changes RRS 63.3(a).

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1 minute ago, shanghaisailor said:

OK - dug a little deeper. Fleet was 13. 

According to Couta SI's included alternative penalties.

B347 lost the protest but was awarded an alternative penalty.

Scoring penalty according to RRS 44.3 scoring penalty would be 20% of DNF = 14 *20% with rounding to nearest whole number.

So 2.8 rounded to 3. 30% = 4.2 rounded down to 4 - as per the rules and SIs

My understanding is that if arbitration is accepted then the 30% alternative comes into play

It needs to be remembered the scoring penalty is on the race in question and the performance in the race not the regatta.

So given that, the committee doesn't appear to have been 'gentle' to the rule breaker.

My previous comment appears to have been a bit 'knee jerk' and incorrect. 

You break the rule - DSQ unless you take an alternative penalty, the RRS already allow for such an alternative - the number of turns in the SIs. Why do we bother with alternative alternatives?

In my view lesser penalties only encourage rule breaking because the penalty (note the word comes from the Latin for 'pain') causes less pain to the guilty party and is open to interpretation.

One of the faults in this situation is that the arbitrator - basically a jury of one - gave an opinion that the larger jury disagreed with perhaps cassing doubts in the protestor's mind.

@mccroc Your comment is only correct if B347 knew and believed they broke a rule and didn't take a penalty. I have seen multiple occasions where a P boat ducks the S boat and is confident they kept clear but the term 'reasonable apprehension' comes into play (see Case 50)

Play the tape mentally - 2 boats on S, Leeward one believes they can tack and duck W. It becomes P & S.

P ducks but S doesn't think there is space so luffs to avoid, P crosses 1m behind believing his manoeuvre kept him clear - Perhaps still RRS 10 but no RRS 2 at all.

HOWEVER, if we then dig into Appendix T - Arbitration we find a different slant.

T 1(a) states that a boat may take an alternative penalty AT ANY TIME UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF A PROTEST HEARING.

It does appear that if the protest goes to the full protest hearing the option of an alternative penalty is withdrawn therefore the awarding of a 4 point addition to the score is incorrect. 

I haven't seen this interpretation tested so am unsure, i am just reading what the RRS states.

Just my opinion.

What'cha think?

SS

 

Good description, and my reading of Appendix T is the same - that option of alternative penalty disappears if it goes to Protest.

Your response to me I agree with, but when the facts found say that B347 tacked within a boat length of 9930, then they were close and should have been more aware of their responsibilities.

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9 minutes ago, LB 15 said:

'Friends' don't let friends sail PHS.

Brand new boat...no certificate issued...and yeah...totally agree!

 

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10 minutes ago, dtoc said:

Don't get too existential about it.

A penalty that appears to not be arbitrary was given by the jury.  Trying to beat down weekend warriors is not helpful, that's my point about the level of the event.

I personally know about 4 Pro's sailing that regatta. But that should have no account as to the application of the rules, be it an Opti green fleet Saturday morning race or the last race of an Americas cup match.

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15 minutes ago, mccroc said:

Again that is the whole point of the RRS - if a yacht breaks a rule they take a penalty. If the protestee had done their turns then 9930 could have asked for their protest to be withdrawn, and it probably would have been.

Yes, if B347 had taken an appropriate penalty, which in this case would have only been a "one-turn" penalty, then she could not be further penalised, again that's why the RRS are written the way they are - to encourage yachts to do the right thing.

If we assume that B347 knowingly or intentionally broke a rule, sure, rule 2 should be considered.

But B347 is entitled to believe that 9930's alteration wasn't necessary to avoid contact, unless/until a jury finds otherwise.

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Just now, TJSoCal said:

If we assume that B347 knowingly or intentionally broke a rule, sure, rule 2 should be considered.

But B347 is entitled to believe that 9930's alteration wasn't necessary to avoid contact, unless/until a jury finds otherwise.

Correct

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20 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

Scoring penalty according to RRS 44.3 scoring penalty would be 20% of DNF = 14 *20% with rounding to nearest whole number

Note that the 44.3 20% scoring penalty must be taken at the time of the incident, not after finishing. It's a replacement for the turns penalties and must be allowed by the sailing instructions. 

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23 minutes ago, Couta said:

the point was that the process of arbitration felt very much like bullying by the jury representative to withdraw...

Yeah, that's poor use of arbitration. All the arbitrator is supposed to do is offer an opinion whether they think a jury would find that either boat broke a rule and what penalty a jury would assess, and then let the competitors decide if they want to accept a scoring penalty, withdraw the protest or go to the room. 

When you say "jury representative" do you mean that the arbitrator later sat on the jury for your hearing, or just that they were appointed as arbitrator by the jury? 

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Was this the same Jury that they had in Hobart for the WOXI AIS protest?

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55 minutes ago, LB 15 said:

'Friends' don't let friends sail PHS.

It seems to work fairly well within club races down here, but I guess if you want to sail outside of your club/region then it's a total lottery.

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19 minutes ago, The Dark Knight said:

It seems to work fairly well within club races down here, but I guess if you want to sail outside of your club/region then it's a total lottery.

I know of a short film about PHS that explains how it works...

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So if B347 was given a DSQ it would have pushed them from 1st to 8th and 9930 from 6th to 5th

If they were scored 8th it would have pushed them from 1st to 2nd on a countback to Agent 88

Hollow winning a trophy after this debacle

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1 hour ago, jackattack said:

The SIs specifically allow for the arbitration penalty to be applied by the PC

10 ARBITRATION
10.1 Arbitration in accordance with RRS Appendix “T” will be used.
10.2 Protests not resolved by Arbitration, for any subsequent protest hearing the penalty given for a breach of a rule of Part 2 may be the arbitration penalty.
10.3 The arbitrator may be a member of any subsequent protest committee or may observe and give testimony to the protest committee. This changes RRS 63.3(a).

What a bloody stupid wording to put in the Sailing Instructions.

I would have thought the point of the 30% penalty after arbitration is to allow people to 'back out gracefully' without having the full penalty applied, not to "let them off lightly" after a normal protest hearing which is what the wording of the SI's appears to do.

In my opinion, this encourages people to 'push it'.

If there is no difference in the penalty then what is the point of the arbitration? Might as well say "Don't worry guys, we won't DSQ you, just add 30% to your race score - on you go!

Besides statement 10.1 conflicts with 10.2 as- Arbitration Appendix  T1 (a) & (b) clearly state a post race penalty of 30% may be taken "until the beginning of a protest hearing".

Just make the rules up as you go along boys! Seems to me the organisers think they know better than the World Sailing Rules Committee (Authors of the RRS)  

Some people seem to think writing SI's is easy - wrong!

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Randro said:

Was this the same Jury that they had in Hobart for the WOXI AIS protest?

Maybe BUT certainly NOT the jury that heard the WOXI/Comanche protest - they got that one right. 

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13 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

What a bloody stupid wording to put in the Sailing Instructions.

I would have thought the point of the 30% penalty after arbitration is to allow people to 'back out gracefully' without having the full penalty applied, not to "let them off lightly" after a normal protest hearing which is what the wording of the SI's appears to do.

In my opinion, this encourages people to 'push it'.

If there is no difference in the penalty then what is the point of the arbitration? Might as well say "Don't worry guys, we won't DSQ you, just add 30% to your race score - on you go!

Besides statement 10.1 conflicts with 10.2 as- Arbitration Appendix  T1 (a) & (b) clearly state a post race penalty of 30% may be taken "until the beginning of a protest hearing".

Just make the rules up as you go along boys! Seems to me the organisers think they know better than the World Sailing Rules Committee (Authors of the RRS)  

Some people seem to think writing SI's is easy - wrong!

 

 

 

The important word is "may", it's up to the PC to decide if the breach was severe enough to warrant a full disqualification, not the competitor. There is no guarantee they will get away with a 30% penalty. Like a judge in a court of law not giving the maximum sentence when there are mitigating circumstances. 

Additionally in this case, hypothetically B347 may have indicated before the hearing they would accept an arbitration penalty but 9930 might have indicated they wished proceed to a full hearing. The PC might have taken this into account when issuing their findings/penalties.

Whether the reduction in penalties encourages people to 'push it' or not, I don't know. But you could also look at it from the other point of view that harsher penalties could encourage other competitors to claimed they had been fouled when in fact they hadn't been. Finding a balance is probably the key thing in avoiding these two extremes.  

There are also plenty of instances where SIs change the RRS, this is all that has happened in SI 10.1 & 10.2. Granted, there is a level of conflict in the way these ones were written and that should be avoided, but it's reasonably easy to follow what the organisers were intending. And looking at the way World Sailing runs the sport, I'd probably take the opinion of the bloke down the pub over theirs!

But I think we all agree, writing SIs aren't easy!!

 

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2 hours ago, Couta said:

Thanks for the feedback and opinion - to be clear, our boat was in a clear air stbd line up with a plan to maintain stbd tack and the LHS of course....the incident forced us to luff near head to wind to avoid serious contact. Our recovery to stbd tack left us in a fleet of bad air and forced us to tack to clear it....clear loss of advantage.

I think we've flogged this dead horse long enough...the point was that the process of arbitration felt very much like bullying by the jury representative to withdraw...and the penalty was not reflective of the seriousness of the fundamental rule breech. A collision was very narrowly avoided by our quick action...as the facts found confirm. Also...Port tacker acknowkledged breech and hailed..."We owe you one!". They stated that in the room. So...no effective penalty for gross breach of fundamental rule.

As I said in the OP, I've never encountered this before. 

 

Okay, last flog of the horse from me. If the port tack boat acknowledged the incident at the time, called "we owe you one" yet did nothing - as a Protest Chair I would definitely be DSQ and most likely DNE. That is bad sportsmanship, and the PC condoned it by their actions. 

Very poor all round.

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2 hours ago, Randro said:

Was this the same Jury that they had in Hobart for the WOXI AIS protest?

Which year? AIS, Port/Starboard or radio silence at Green Cape?

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48 minutes ago, LB 15 said:

Which year? AIS, Port/Starboard or radio silence at Green Cape?

P/S was fixed.  The others not so much.

This thread and the SH examples just demonstrate the weak points of a Self Policing sport.  It is extremely difficult to get an impartial protest committee.  There are good experienced people out there but many are unable to act impartially.

I'd fix the cunts, I don't give a fuck who they are.  Break a rule and you are Goooorrrnnnne.

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I also found this in the SIs.  Did you not read it.

Protests not resolved by Arbitration, for any subsequent protest hearing the penalty given for a breach of a rule of Part 2 may be the arbitration penalty.

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2 minutes ago, trt131 said:

I also found this in the SIs.  Did you not read it.

Protests not resolved by Arbitration, for any subsequent protest hearing the penalty given for a breach of a rule of Part 2 may be the arbitration penalty.

Umm-Yes-I-Have-A-Question.jpg

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4 hours ago, dtoc said:

Don't get too existential about it.

A penalty that appears to not be arbitrary was given by the jury.  Trying to beat down weekend warriors is not helpful, that's my point about the level of the event.

The “penalty” appears to have just allowed the offending boat to win by 1 point.  That’s a fairly large coincidence. 

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3 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

What a bloody stupid wording to put in the Sailing Instructions.

I would have thought the point of the 30% penalty after arbitration is to allow people to 'back out gracefully' without having the full penalty applied, not to "let them off lightly" after a normal protest hearing which is what the wording of the SI's appears to do.

In my opinion, this encourages people to 'push it'.

If there is no difference in the penalty then what is the point of the arbitration? Might as well say "Don't worry guys, we won't DSQ you, just add 30% to your race score - on you go!

Besides statement 10.1 conflicts with 10.2 as- Arbitration Appendix  T1 (a) & (b) clearly state a post race penalty of 30% may be taken "until the beginning of a protest hearing".

Just make the rules up as you go along boys! Seems to me the organisers think they know better than the World Sailing Rules Committee (Authors of the RRS)  

Some people seem to think writing SI's is easy - wrong!

 

 

 

SS the operative is may.  The Jury dont have to give the Arb penalty.  There may have been a reason to give the Arb Penalty.

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I am just going to come right out and say it. There are a few things which stop this sport from being far more popular than it is, and multiple of them are present in this single thread.

-The way over complicated rules. IDGAF what you think, they are so over complicated it stops beginners from enjoying the sport. This shit really should be made far simpler, and if you don't think that, then you are part of the problem. Want new people to join the sport? Well you are making it so stupidly hard for them.

-The ridiculous arbitration system. The only good hearing, is no fucking hearing. This shit is plagued by ass-holes/liars/cheats, the over complicated rules and a needlessly over-complicated system set-up by a niche group over over-enthusiasts. Maybe it should just become standard that everyone has a gopro setup like a dash-cam but at the back of the boat, recording the whole race.

-People taking this sport so fucking seriously. God damn it, the number of yelling matches I see by fucking fossils and noobs in weekend warrior races and social regattas is actually pretty sickening, I constantly have to remind newbie crew not to pay attention to shit like that.

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6 hours ago, The Dark Knight said:

I'd love to see it, but my firewall blocks porntube, youporn and the like...

Bullshit !

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25 minutes ago, Turkey Slapper said:

Mmmmm this all sounds familiar!

 

In a kind of flashback of dumbfuckery from another regatta kind of way!

Yep, did you have your AIS on!!!!!!

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2 hours ago, darth reapius said:

I am just going to come right out and say it. There are a few things which stop this sport from being far more popular than it is, and multiple of them are present in this single thread.

-The way over complicated rules. IDGAF what you think, they are so over complicated it stops beginners from enjoying the sport. This shit really should be made far simpler, and if you don't think that, then you are part of the problem. Want new people to join the sport? Well you are making it so stupidly hard for them.

-The ridiculous arbitration system. The only good hearing, is no fucking hearing. This shit is plagued by ass-holes/liars/cheats, the over complicated rules and a needlessly over-complicated system set-up by a niche group over over-enthusiasts. Maybe it should just become standard that everyone has a gopro setup like a dash-cam but at the back of the boat, recording the whole race.

-People taking this sport so fucking seriously. God damn it, the number of yelling matches I see by fucking fossils and noobs in weekend warrior races and social regattas is actually pretty sickening, I constantly have to remind newbie crew not to pay attention to shit like that.

I largely agree with what you are saying. The rules are complicated and the last thing they need is some smart Alex changing those rules and adding conflicts in the likes of SI's.

The stuff around the edges can be complicated especially when someone doesn't properly understand them (some have hardly even read them). I remember running a seminar and we hadn't got past the 'Definitions' when someone who has sailed for ever piped up with "Is that what it really means?"

The seriousness the sport is taken in should, to an extent depend on the seriousness of the event. I have competed in white sail family cruiser events with just my 10 year old daughter (a long time ago mind you) with a tinny of beer at my fingertips while at the other end of the scale i was rules adviser for a team on a round the world race. One was fun while at the other had a sponsor's ROI riding on it. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the "fossils" still go on about "time and opportunity". Whenever I hear that I know we have a lack of knowledge on display. 

The go-pro thing is not a bad idea, it has got us off the hook a couple of times when someone else was embellishing their side of the tale. They look a bit silly when their words are contradicted by a clear video. Can you imagine how long a protest might take while waiting for someone to find the right spot on the file though. 

I do agree that the arbitration system is an unnecessary complication as is SI's that alter what is already a rule which requires careful reading by judges, never mind competitors. Arbitration is not really there, I believe, for the benefit of the sailor but the smoothing of the protest situation to reduce the amount of lost drinking time by judges or the non delay of a prizegiving (maybe someone from WS can correct me on that). If someone signs up as a judge or an umpire, they are there to serve the competitors however long it takes and yes, I have been in the room several times beyond midnight still not having had the first beer of the evening.

Funny thing about the yelling is that it is usually those who know least that shout loudest or are the biggest bullies. I love it  when they come to the room. 

Having said all the above, if you were playing someone at chess and they tried to move the Bishop in any way other than diagonally you would be mightily pissed off so why should a sailor not expect their fellow competitor to know rather more than 10,11,13 & 15? Some even struggle with 18 and the downwind overlap.

Sorry if the above post is all over the place, long day and I just typed as things came into my head.

SS

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10 hours ago, LB 15 said:

'Friends' don't let friends sail PHS.

Is it like sex with fat girls? It’s ok to sail PHS as long as your friends don’t see you doing it?

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1 hour ago, shanghaisailor said:

the arbitration system is an unnecessary complication as is SI's that alter what is already a rule which requires careful reading by judges, never mind competitors. Arbitration is not really there, I believe, for the benefit of the sailor but the smoothing of the protest situation to reduce the amount of lost drinking time by judges or the non delay of a prizegiving (maybe someone from WS can correct me on that)

Well Appendix T arbitration only comes in if the NOR or SIs put it in, and even then the competitors aren't bound by it and can still go to the room if either of them chooses to. The purpose is stated in the preamble, to "eliminate the need for some protest hearings" (which I thing some sailors want) and to "speed up the process for events in which many protests are expected" (also a good thing, if arbitration is done properly). 

But personally I'm less of a fan of arbitration for informal club events as it does add complication and I think many arbitrators don't really know how to do it properly. I like US Sailing prescription V2 better, which allows competitors to discuss it between themselves after the race and decide to take a voluntary post-race penalty. That can dispose of a protest without having to designate an arbitrator but still doesn't deprive anyone of their right to a hearing if they want one.

Outside the US I suppose you could use the same language in an SI. 

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Does someone have a link to the NOR and SIs for this event? Generally DPs are used for those documents, not for other rules.  See RRS 64.6 and 86 for additional language.  Also here:

https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/DiscretionaryPenaltyPolicySWCNov2014-[18029].pdf

Also, to SS' point above, both 44.3 (rarely used in the US) and Appendix T both procedurally describe how to take a penalty. On the course, at the time of the incident (see 44.3 for the exact wording), if the rule is invoked you can take a 20%.  After the incident (where you have not taken an alternative penalty) up to the time of the protest hearing you can take a 30%.  Arbitration should never produce a recommendation less than T1 since it refers directly to it (see T3 and T4). Once you get to the hearing, you are bound by RRS 64.

About three years ago our Club was forced to take a much better look than years past on all of our race documents.  This was due to an incident on the race course that persisted over two days and was not properly handled by the parties or the officials.  Since then, we have been both proactive and diligent making corrections for anything that has been left over from prior years that no longer fits the RRS.  Not knowing the politics of this, I would still like to take a look at the documents to use as an example for our officials here.

Thanks.  Sorry for the rambling, sort of multitasking between this and work.

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6 minutes ago, TsunamiMike said:

Does someone have a link to the NOR and SIs for this event? Generally DPs are used for those documents, not for other rules.  See RRS 64.6 and 86 for additional language.  Also here:

https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/DiscretionaryPenaltyPolicySWCNov2014-[18029].pdf

Also, to SS' point above, both 44.3 (rarely used in the US) and Appendix T both procedurally describe how to take a penalty. On the course, at the time of the incident (see 44.3 for the exact wording), if the rule is invoked you can take a 20%.  After the incident (where you have not taken an alternative penalty) up to the time of the protest hearing you can take a 30%.  Arbitration should never produce a recommendation less than T1 since it refers directly to it (see T3 and T4). Once you get to the hearing, you are bound by RRS 64.

About three years ago our Club was forced to take a much better look than years past on all of our race documents.  This was due to an incident on the race course that persisted over two days and was not properly handled by the parties or the officials.  Since then, we have been both proactive and diligent making corrections for anything that has been left over from prior years that no longer fits the RRS.  Not knowing the politics of this, I would still like to take a look at the documents to use as an example for our officials here.

Thanks.  Sorry for the rambling, sort of multitasking between this and work.

Good to see such care taken on SIs at club level. The clearer and less ambiguous (and simpler) they are the less likely there is to be any issues. SOmetimes they can be made to be more complicated and open to opinion.

 

44.3 is rarely used FULL STOP! I wonder how many boats actually carry a yellow flag? The 30% is only applicable if arbitration is involved and as you correctly say that option switches off as soon as the protest hearing commences although the SIs in question countermand that allowing the 30% to be applied by the PC although goodness knows why. 

Had the SIs not altered the wording of Appendix T in this way there wouldn't have been an issue and we wouldn't have had anything to talk about today - ha ha!

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12 hours ago, Couta said:

Thanks for the feedback and opinion - to be clear, our boat was in a clear air stbd line up with a plan to maintain stbd tack and the LHS of course....the incident forced us to luff near head to wind to avoid serious contact. Our recovery to stbd tack left us in a fleet of bad air and forced us to tack to clear it....clear loss of advantage.

I think we've flogged this dead horse long enough...the point was that the process of arbitration felt very much like bullying by the jury representative to withdraw...and the penalty was not reflective of the seriousness of the fundamental rule breech. A collision was very narrowly avoided by our quick action...as the facts found confirm. Also...Port tacker acknowkledged breech and hailed..."We owe you one!". They stated that in the room. So...no effective penalty for gross breach of fundamental rule.

As I said in the OP, I've never encountered this before. 

 

Sailboats pivot on their keel/centerboard. If you feel you needed a hard "luff up" into the wind to avoid contact, this means your transom actually slid to leeward and was most likely even closer to the tacking boat's bow than had you kept your course. During the initial read, I was expecting to hear of an emergency bear away to keep your transom clear and subsequently losing your clear air lane.

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8 hours ago, darth reapius said:

-The way over complicated rules. IDGAF what you think, they are so over complicated it stops beginners from enjoying the sport. This shit really should be made far simpler, and if you don't think that, then you are part of the problem. Want new people to join the sport? Well you are making it so stupidly hard for them.

After agreeing with this statement, in thinking about it further ...

I have seen people who have been sailing for decades, still not understand some of the basic rules.  That means that even if the rules were simplified, these people refuse to read and understand them anyway.  They are either lazy fucks or they have comprehension problems.

Also, after watching the changes come through every four years, some of the more important sections like "When Boats Meet" are really brief and plain English.

So the real problem is that anyone can buy a boat, join a club and appear on the start line without any rules training at all in charge of many tonnes of equipment and the lives of the crew.  The worst offenders are blue water sailors and ex-cruisers.  Ocean racers who have maybe done a few Hobarts often have no fucking idea about RRS but they will not admit that or be told.  Some kids in Opti's know more than they do.

"The Blue Book" used to be a reference, haven't seen one pulled for ages since PFDs can be stored on the phone.  I have seen plenty or arguments about rules where neither side actually referred to a copy of the rules.  If they had the discussion would have been concluded almost immediately.  I suggested to one very experienced person that he should get more familiar with what the rules actually say and he sat down, looked sad and said, "Yeah, I should, but they are so hard to read and one rule refers to other rules and it gets so confusing."   But he had never even made the attempt the lazy prick.

So to sum it up.  The rules people really need to know to avoid collisions and stay safe are easy to read and understand, like Rules 10 to 23, Part 2 of the RRS and only a few pages of the document.  The problem is that people do not read them.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that Protest Committees are often formed from prominent sailors who if they know the rules, have no idea how to behave during a protest.

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6 hours ago, Jason AUS said:

Is it like sex with fat girls? It’s ok to sail PHS as long as your friends don’t see you doing it?

Exactly the same Jas- except less alcohol is required before one commences a PHS adventure. Both activities are better done in the dark.

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2 hours ago, Randro said:

After agreeing with this statement, in thinking about it further ...

I have seen people who have been sailing for decades, still not understand some of the basic rules.  That means that even if the rules were simplified, these people refuse to read and understand them anyway.  They are either lazy fucks or they have comprehension problems.

Also, after watching the changes come through every four years, some of the more important sections like "When Boats Meet" are really brief and plain English.

So the real problem is that anyone can buy a boat, join a club and appear on the start line without any rules training at all in charge of many tonnes of equipment and the lives of the crew.  The worst offenders are blue water sailors and ex-cruisers.  Ocean racers who have maybe done a few Hobarts often have no fucking idea about RRS but they will not admit that or be told.  Some kids in Opti's know more than they do.

"The Blue Book" used to be a reference, haven't seen one pulled for ages since PFDs can be stored on the phone.  I have seen plenty or arguments about rules where neither side actually referred to a copy of the rules.  If they had the discussion would have been concluded almost immediately.  I suggested to one very experienced person that he should get more familiar with what the rules actually say and he sat down, looked sad and said, "Yeah, I should, but they are so hard to read and one rule refers to other rules and it gets so confusing."   But he had never even made the attempt the lazy prick.

So to sum it up.  The rules people really need to know to avoid collisions and stay safe are easy to read and understand, like Rules 10 to 23, Part 2 of the RRS and only a few pages of the document.  The problem is that people do not read them.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that Protest Committees are often formed from prominent sailors who if they know the rules, have no idea how to behave during a protest.

Interesting.You say a PFD or Lifejacket can be stored on your phone!I have been out of the racing side of the sport for a while but what a development.Think I might head into Boating Camping Fishing when they open in a few hours and buy one.Thanks for the heads up.

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2 hours ago, LB 15 said:

Exactly the same Jas- except less alcohol is required before one commences a PHS adventure. Both activities are better done in the dark.

Even funnier when you find out that the offending boat had paid sailors on board....PHS?? FFS!!!

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9 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

I largely agree with what you are saying. The rules are complicated and the last thing they need is some smart Alex changing those rules and adding conflicts in the likes of SI's.

The stuff around the edges can be complicated especially when someone doesn't properly understand them (some have hardly even read them). I remember running a seminar and we hadn't got past the 'Definitions' when someone who has sailed for ever piped up with "Is that what it really means?"

The seriousness the sport is taken in should, to an extent depend on the seriousness of the event. I have competed in white sail family cruiser events with just my 10 year old daughter (a long time ago mind you) with a tinny of beer at my fingertips while at the other end of the scale i was rules adviser for a team on a round the world race. One was fun while at the other had a sponsor's ROI riding on it. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the "fossils" still go on about "time and opportunity". Whenever I hear that I know we have a lack of knowledge on display. 

The go-pro thing is not a bad idea, it has got us off the hook a couple of times when someone else was embellishing their side of the tale. They look a bit silly when their words are contradicted by a clear video. Can you imagine how long a protest might take while waiting for someone to find the right spot on the file though. 

I do agree that the arbitration system is an unnecessary complication as is SI's that alter what is already a rule which requires careful reading by judges, never mind competitors. Arbitration is not really there, I believe, for the benefit of the sailor but the smoothing of the protest situation to reduce the amount of lost drinking time by judges or the non delay of a prizegiving (maybe someone from WS can correct me on that). If someone signs up as a judge or an umpire, they are there to serve the competitors however long it takes and yes, I have been in the room several times beyond midnight still not having had the first beer of the evening.

Funny thing about the yelling is that it is usually those who know least that shout loudest or are the biggest bullies. I love it  when they come to the room. 

Having said all the above, if you were playing someone at chess and they tried to move the Bishop in any way other than diagonally you would be mightily pissed off so why should a sailor not expect their fellow competitor to know rather more than 10,11,13 & 15? Some even struggle with 18 and the downwind overlap.

Sorry if the above post is all over the place, long day and I just typed as things came into my head.

SS

Agree with most, SS, particularly with, those who know least that shout loudest or are the biggest bullies.

But a port - starboard incident is pretty simple and, if broken, a penalty turn/s is required. Done, dusted, and finish your race with no further consequence.

I do love the self regulation the RRS allow us sailors. But maybe we should go to the protest room more often on blatant breaches to spoil the day of these clueless weekend warriors sailing for sheep stations.

You don't see a golfer hit a ball into the water and continue without a penalty and hope it will be ignored or a partial penalty applied. They take their penalty or withdraw from the tournament.

P.S. I was on this start line and there was a bit on, everybody else played hard, but fair.

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1 hour ago, Mad Mac said:

But a port - starboard incident is pretty simple and, if broken, a penalty turn/s is required.

Not quite. Penalty turns are an option but a protested boat is still entitled to due process (at risk of harsher penalty). Recognizing that this incident didn't take place in the US, there is a US Sailing appeal (46) that clarifies that failure to take an alternative penalty when it's available does not break a rule.

In this case it appears that the offender was protested, elected not to do penalty turns, elected not to accept a post-race penalty through arbitration (or maybe they were willing to but the protestor would not agree to withdraw), lost the protest in a hearing and was penalized in accordance with the SI by being assessed a 30% scoring penalty in the race where the incident occurred. 

So is the argument that the penalty is insufficient ("not a penalty") because it didn't impact their regatta score?

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30 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

Recognizing that this incident didn't take place in the US, there is a US Sailing appeal (46) that clarifies that failure to take an alternative penalty when it's available does not break a rule.

Only refers to a Two-Turns Penalty.  Failure to do any turns is a breach that can be protested.

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3 hours ago, Rotnest Express said:

Interesting.You say a PFD or Lifejacket can be stored on your phone!I have been out of the racing side of the sport for a while but what a development.Think I might head into Boating Camping Fishing when they open in a few hours and buy one.Thanks for the heads up.

I have a theory that there are too many Seth Efricarn genes in the WA pool for clear thinking or good humour.

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