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6 hours ago, Rotnest Express said:

Could someone with more than my limited knowledge please explain if we accept that the Overall Handicap Results based on the ‘shorter ‘or alternative course how can the traditional or historic Race Record that was broken be attributed to the original or longer course.I could understand if Comanche was awarded a new course record for the new or shorter course if we accept it was the handicap winner based on the shorter or new course.Have I missed something?

According to NOR (15.2.6) the course record is awarded based on "highest average speed over the particular course sailed". So as long as Comanche's average speed is more than 12.64 kts over the alternative course they still hold the course record even if it isn't based on the "historic" 606 mile course.

I'm sure some will generate some outrage and an assertion that Comanche's record should have an asterisk. But considering the variation in conditions seems to me that sailing course records are tenuous at best. Boats in different years don't sail the same actual distance even if the rated course difference is the same, and they're at the mercy of windspeed, wind direction and other differences from one year to another.

I expect Comanche broke the course record regardless of which course distance you choose to use.

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How can you not be impressed by a double win like this?  Was there another boat that was more impressive across the two races?  What's not to like?

Oh, the PR machine at work... So, Comanche set a record and won on handicap?  Umm...  How do you set a record on the full course if the race is scored on a shortened course?  You can't have it bo

However the 'alternative' finish line in SI 11.3 shortens the course by some 13 miles. The mechanics of shortening the course are laid out in RRS 32. So how can it be "independent of RRS32" which is q

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On 11/2/2021 at 1:23 AM, shanghaisailor said:

It is perhaps a shame that only competitors and their support persons are subject to 69

What do you mean by that?

If one thinks that some IJ's/IRO's performance was clearly below the level required for appointment as an WS Race Official in the relevant discipline, there's always a WS Regulation 32 route. It has worked in the past, btw - just ask Oleg Ilyin, Kamen Fillyov and a bunch of other IJs.. ;) (it was at 2015 420 & 470 Youth Europeans in Bourgas, BUL.)

Quote

 

32. RACE OFFICIALS PERFORMANCE

32.2 To be considered under this Regulation, a report shall be in writing, and the submitter
of the report shall accept that his identity is disclosed to the World Sailing Race Official
concerned. A report may be submitted by a race official, competitor, technical
delegate, Member National Authority or authorized member of the organizing authority
or class association. However, the Chief Executive Officer may in his discretion decide
that a report from another source is to be considered under this Regulation.

 

 

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Agree with what you are saying,  but in this litigious climate that we now live it is a brave committee who would allow a race to finish in conditions that they had been advised were dangerous, whether they personally believed the advice or not.  The natural reaction now is to wrap every competitor in cotton wool just in case one may be hurt and take action.  We all know that the only winners in any court action are the lawyers!

Just look at the CYCA,  the latest disclaimer includes "acknowledges that in Cat 1 and 2 races crew are required to wear their PLB when on deck, understand the operation operation of his or her Lifejackets/PLB..."  Meaning that on a sunny afternoon sail in 5 knots of breeze and a flat sea all crew on deck have to wear a PLB.  Further rule requires the wearing of a lifejacket if it is between sunset & sunrise or the wind exceeds 25 knots.  Totally arbitrary limits with no acknowledgement of the actual conditions or experience of the crew.  But as the safety people say,  if it saves one life!

I have never been to Malta and was not there to judge the conditions and have no idea what advice the committee was given about the coming weather, so cannot say if I would have made the same decision,  but I can understand why it was made.

And I note again,  apparently all competitors were happy with the sailing instructions prior to the race,  (probably because they like the committee did not anticipate the possibility of the finish change being made after some boats had finished), but the option was clearly always there even if badly written.  

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12 hours ago, TUBBY said:

Ok,  so you are the race committee, (let's just pretend here), you are faced with the issue that most of the fleet has finished, but you think conditions are about to make it too dangerous for the rest of the fleet to safely cross the finish line.

In hindsight the fleet should have been broken in 2: one fleet that actually completely finished the longer course and another fleet that was finished on the shorter course. Each fleet should have been scored against their peers and historically recorded that way.

Awarding additional trophies, perhaps much later, seems to be a much better option than denying a boat it's rightful place in the record books.

The shorter course boats couldn't really complain about this because, hey, they did not actually complete the shorter course and the longer course boats can't complain about sharing the podium because, hey, they did not actually complete (edit: maybe they did?) the shorter course either and so can't be scored on the shorter course.

Each fleet gets it's own course & awards.

Gets the RC, PC OA & club off the hook. Might cost some additional Euros, but that's probably the better outcome.

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2 hours ago, Parma said:

In hindsight the fleet should have been broken in 2: one fleet that actually completely finished the longer course and another fleet that was finished on the shorter course. Each fleet should have been scored against their peers and historically recorded that way.

Awarding additional trophies, perhaps much later, seems to be a much better option than denying a boat it's rightful place in the record books.

The shorter course boats couldn't really complain about this because, hey, they did not actually complete the shorter course and the longer course boats can't complain about sharing the podium because, hey, they did not actually complete (edit: maybe they did?) the shorter course either and so can't be scored on the shorter course.

Each fleet gets it's own course & awards.

Gets the RC, PC OA & club off the hook. Might cost some additional Euros, but that's probably the better outcome.

I don't see how you can get away with that after the fact when none of the race documents describe such an arrangement. You're basically making up an entirely different event from what the boats signed up for and raced in.

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The same might be said of the original race documents vis-a-vis the end results.

The issues only arise when people notice unfair treatment; 2 separately recorded races = no unfair treatment.

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Seems to me they did exactly what the race docs said they would do for exactly the reason they said they would do it. And exactly nobody was confused by the admitted error of not removing the Valletta mark. 

It's unfortunate that it changed results for the top two boats but I think "unfair" is a stretch. 

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7 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

Seems to me they did exactly what the race docs said they would do for exactly the reason they said they would do it. And exactly nobody was confused by the admitted error of not removing the Valletta mark. 

How is it possible to say that they did EXACTLY what the race docs said and in the next breath say that it was okay to not round the Valletta mark as required by the race docs???

 

11 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

It's unfortunate that it changed results for the top two boats but I think "unfair" is a stretch. 

Unfortunate.... yes, but I think the 3 minute standing O was an expression of the fleet's general understanding that they had been treated unfairly. 

And I can't speak for anyone there but perceive that the 3 minute standing O was also as much a proclamation of support for Sunrise as it was a protest of the results.

I should stop cheering from the bleachers. And I do feel sorry / bad for those in charge: volunteers, weren't they?

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2 hours ago, Parma said:

How is it possible to say that they did EXACTLY what the race docs said and in the next breath say that it was okay to not round the Valletta mark as required by the race docs???

 

Unfortunate.... yes, but I think the 3 minute standing O was an expression of the fleet's general understanding that they had been treated unfairly. 

And I can't speak for anyone there but perceive that the 3 minute standing O was also as much a proclamation of support for Sunrise as it was a protest of the results.

I should stop cheering from the bleachers. And I do feel sorry / bad for those in charge: volunteers, weren't they?

Volunteers? Unlikely the International Jury were not on a daily rate plus expenses

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Didn't Argo win, and who are these other boats? 

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6 minutes ago, Keith said:

Didn't Argo win, and who are these other boats? 
 

Didn't Argo get disqualified for using his foils ?

And are multihules not ex competition anyway ?

Asking for a monohuler.

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I've been lurking and enjoying this thread, and thinking about the finish line debacle...  An underlying point here is that anytime an event has an "overall winner" with rating adjustments and highly disparate ratings, it's going to be inherently "unfair".  I mean...  Sunrise and Comanche both sailed outstanding races, and both won their classes by wide margins, but when one boat's rating is almost double the other's, they're going to experience very different weather conditions as they go around the course, particularly after the first boat finishes.  Who "wins overall" among the boats who sail well enough to win their respective classes has a lot more to do with who gets more favorable conditions for their rating than anything else.

So yes, there's a mess here, somewhat pre-destined to occur eventually if not this year with the way the SI was written, but...  Maybe the underlying point is that the "overall win" on corrected time is a flawed concept anyway.  One-design is the best, and when you can't do that, class wins are a better measure of performance than "overall".  Except for line honours.  That's a different game with its own merits.

Looks like neither boat even registered to be scored under ORC.

Did the finish line change impact any of the Class podiums?  Hopefully not.  Certainly plausible, but seems less likely.

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2 hours ago, Your Mom said:

I've been lurking and enjoying this thread, and thinking about the finish line debacle...  An underlying point here is that anytime an event has an "overall winner" with rating adjustments and highly disparate ratings, it's going to be inherently "unfair".  I mean...  Sunrise and Comanche both sailed outstanding races, and both won their classes by wide margins, but when one boat's rating is almost double the other's, they're going to experience very different weather conditions as they go around the course, particularly after the first boat finishes.  Who "wins overall" among the boats who sail well enough to win their respective classes has a lot more to do with who gets more favorable conditions for their rating than anything else.

So yes, there's a mess here, somewhat pre-destined to occur eventually if not this year with the way the SI was written, but...  Maybe the underlying point is that the "overall win" on corrected time is a flawed concept anyway.  One-design is the best, and when you can't do that, class wins are a better measure of performance than "overall".  Except for line honours.  That's a different game with its own merits.

Looks like neither boat even registered to be scored under ORC.

Did the finish line change impact any of the Class podiums?  Hopefully not.  Certainly plausible, but seems less likely.

Agree with Your Mom, Offshore racing and overall score is generally an unfair and uneven ranking as you not only need to sail well to score well but also relly that you get the right conditions that play in your favour; the only REAL realistic way to score the boats would be if all of them would record their polargraph performance throughout the race and then the performances could be compared to each other throughout all of the race.

That said the rest of the claims that are now coming up, like "email from an ‘insider’. Our verification research shows better than 95% he is a RMYC member or at least someone with intimate knowledge of some of the goings-on inside the club." are just becoming RIDICULOUS!

I actually have friends who are well seated within the RMYC, no need to 95% verify or anything, that saw the weather report and the conditions that they expect, yes, these decision are taken based on the forecast and not necessarily on the actual conditions at the moment in front of their window, and said that indeed is can be very tricky to enter the port under those conditions and that boats had run aground under less sever ones. 

Let's face it the the whole "Comanche Payed/RMYC influenced as to have Comanche win" is just silly. 
Not only has someone to come up with that but then that person has to go and convince the race committee to pull that off, and all the people associated with that, and then they hace to convince the race jury to commit as well and then they have to convince the international jury who supported the decision to support that as well, all of them of course without saying "Nah, this is strange, this doesn't fit"  or "Well this weather forcast doesn't really justify it"

The alternative finish was in place for exactly a situation like that, reason why everyone has to time them self when they pass Comino, the problem here is that the Race Instruction were not in line with the switch to the line switch. 

Furthermore, had the RC not changed the finish line, had they ignored the forecast as "nah this won't happen" and the front would have come in, had one or more of the remaining racing boats come into the harbour with heavy swell and ran aground or someone even hot hurt, people would be up in arms right now about "Why didn't the RC change the line if there was an alternative", "Why did the RC ignore the weather forecast if it was CLEAR that front was coming in", "This is outrageous, the RC should have taken preventive measures".

To be fair, with the lead that Sunrise had before the switch, I do think they really though that shortening the RC by 12nm (in an over 600nm course), could really lead to a change in podium. 

One thing is clear, the Comino line will still be there in the future, just that the RI will now be adjusted to allow for the change of line at any given time. 

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I don't think anyone is suggesting this deliberately favours the big C, its more about changing the goal posts after the fact, thats what the problem is. The RC themselves announced Sunrise as the current leader, then changed the line and took away hard work on the water, the "blood sweat and tears" where the team pushed hard to gain that extra place. If you as a team had saved up that last minute energy to gain an extra place, only for it to be discounted, you too would be annoyed and ask for redress. The change in leader between two boats had nothing to do with either of their performance on the course as they sailed it, it was a paperwork decision after the fact.

Really, to be fair, and to be safe, when they shortened the course they could have granted redress to maintain the podium as it was, and allowed the shortened boats to finish within that fleet relative to their times.

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1 hour ago, JonRowe said:

Really, to be fair, and to be safe, when they shortened the course they could have granted redress to maintain the podium as it was, and allowed the shortened boats to finish within that fleet relative to their times.

I suppose they could have done that as redress for Sunrise. But then might well have had to hear a redress request from Comanche, who also worked hard for their overall victory.

Unfortunately there's no way everyone walks out of the room happy.

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23 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

I suppose they could have done that as redress for Sunrise. But then might well have had to hear a redress request from Comanche, who also worked hard for their overall victory.

Unfortunately there's no way everyone walks out of the room happy.

Except the difference is Comanche would not have lost anything in my proposed scenario, they were already second with the race record. Arguably they are just as injured as Sunrise by the race committees current stance, as generally speaking race records don't get counted from shortened course, and the bad publicity from how this race  was handled tarnishes any claim to the monohull record.

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2 hours ago, JonRowe said:

Except the difference is Comanche would not have lost anything in my proposed scenario, they were already second with the race record. Arguably they are just as injured as Sunrise by the race committees current stance, as generally speaking race records don't get counted from shortened course, and the bad publicity from how this race  was handled tarnishes any claim to the monohull record.

If you read the NOR the race record is based on "highest average speed over the particular course sailed" so it's really independent of course distance. Believe Comanche owns it no matter which line is used. In the event I think they made the award this year based on Comanche's average speed over the full course, probably to maintain continuity with previous records. I think her average speed would be slightly higher if they used the alternative line.

For every boat that moves up a place using the alternative line there's another boat that loses a place and would rather keep the full course. If they use the alternative line Comanche benefits and Sunrise is pissed. Vice versa if you use the full course. There's no making everyone happy. But as I understand it the alternative line (and the possibility that it would alter results) has been in the SI for like 50 years and nobody thought it would be a problem. 

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I don't disagree with anything you say, but it doesn't change the fact that the RC handled this badly, and it tarnishes the results of this edition of the race. Commanche's result will now always have a virtual asterisk over it in peoples minds of "oh that was the year the RC shortened the course, messed up the RRS and fucked people over". Thus even if Commanche' holds the clubs definition of a record it will remind people of that.

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19 hours ago, SeQuBu said:

Agree with Your Mom, Offshore racing and overall score is generally an unfair and uneven ranking as you not only need to sail well to score well but also relly that you get the right conditions that play in your favour; the only REAL realistic way to score the boats would be if all of them would record their polargraph performance throughout the race and then the performances could be compared to each other throughout all of the race.

That said the rest of the claims that are now coming up, like "email from an ‘insider’. Our verification research shows better than 95% he is a RMYC member or at least someone with intimate knowledge of some of the goings-on inside the club." are just becoming RIDICULOUS!

I actually have friends who are well seated within the RMYC, no need to 95% verify or anything, that saw the weather report and the conditions that they expect, yes, these decision are taken based on the forecast and not necessarily on the actual conditions at the moment in front of their window, and said that indeed is can be very tricky to enter the port under those conditions and that boats had run aground under less sever ones. 

Let's face it the the whole "Comanche Payed/RMYC influenced as to have Comanche win" is just silly. 
Not only has someone to come up with that but then that person has to go and convince the race committee to pull that off, and all the people associated with that, and then they hace to convince the race jury to commit as well and then they have to convince the international jury who supported the decision to support that as well, all of them of course without saying "Nah, this is strange, this doesn't fit"  or "Well this weather forcast doesn't really justify it"

The alternative finish was in place for exactly a situation like that, reason why everyone has to time them self when they pass Comino, the problem here is that the Race Instruction were not in line with the switch to the line switch. 

Furthermore, had the RC not changed the finish line, had they ignored the forecast as "nah this won't happen" and the front would have come in, had one or more of the remaining racing boats come into the harbour with heavy swell and ran aground or someone even hot hurt, people would be up in arms right now about "Why didn't the RC change the line if there was an alternative", "Why did the RC ignore the weather forecast if it was CLEAR that front was coming in", "This is outrageous, the RC should have taken preventive measures".

To be fair, with the lead that Sunrise had before the switch, I do think they really though that shortening the RC by 12nm (in an over 600nm course), could really lead to a change in podium. 

One thing is clear, the Comino line will still be there in the future, just that the RI will now be adjusted to allow for the change of line at any given time. 

Your reasoning ignores basic seamanship.  If the harbor entrance is too dangerous to enter the skipper needs to make that call, he is responsible for the safety of his vessel.  He could file for redress after the fact.  It also ignores the fact that the SIs did not support the RC's actions.  Based on how the SIs were written they had two choices after the first boat finished.  Do nothing or abandon the race.

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On 11/2/2021 at 10:39 PM, Snowden said:

Lots of people making comments like this - seems a little precious? Unless you are one of the small number of boats in contention for the overall (& apologies if you are), how does this fuckup change your desire to participate?

Maybe a little precious, but it's a big commitment to take part given the delivery distance for some of us and, regardless of whether the decision was made on good grounds or not, the impact on the results has knocked many folks' confidence in the RC's ability to run a fair race. That said, I'm sure they will be pretty focussed on getting it right next time, and it's not a job I envy anyone doing. 

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On 11/3/2021 at 8:39 AM, Snowden said:

Lots of people making comments like this - seems a little precious? Unless you are one of the small number of boats in contention for the overall (& apologies if you are), how does this fuckup change your desire to participate?

Actually makes a big difference, it goes to the culture of the race and when making the decision to spend say for me about USD 60k to do a Cat 1 or 2 race is it to much the ask that the race be run something like properly.

Why should I pay to promote a watch company anyway

The culture of even the Hobart Race is on a downward slide.

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Just now, Livia said:

 is it to much the ask that the race be run something like properly. Why should I pay to promote a watch company anyway. The culture of even the Hobart Race is on a downward slide.

Lots of people seem to be smarter than an IJ with the benefit of hindsight. This issue (specifically the failure to delete the penultimate mark in the alternative course) has been in the SIs for many editions of the race and no-one spotted it, so I do have sympathy for the RC.

You're not paying to promote watches... Rolex is supporting your hobby to try and sell you watches.

The CYCA's political machinations are neither here nor there.

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10 hours ago, Snowden said:

Lots of people seem to be smarter than an IJ with the benefit of hindsight. This issue (specifically the failure to delete the penultimate mark in the alternative course) has been in the SIs for many editions of the race and no-one spotted it, so I do have sympathy for the RC.

You're not paying to promote watches... Rolex is supporting your hobby to try and sell you watches.

The CYCA's political machinations are neither here nor there.

Rolex is due NO criticism. Of course they get publicity from being naming sponsor and as such their participation reduces event costs and most likely entry costs - they just write the cheques not the Race Documents along with providing very nice prizes for the Line Honours and handicap winners

It is not the first time and it is highly unlikely to be the last that a Race Committee made an error, that's why there is RRS62.1 in the first place.

The primary flaw, as I see it is RRS32 was broken and the International Jury somehow decided that reducing the length of the race after a boat had finished didn't break RRS32. That rule is a "yes/no rule" and not open to opinion and doesn't state any exceptions where such an action by the Race Committee is not covered by RRS32.

There's the real error, the International Jury offered an opinion which was NOT open to them in the RRS and in my view, and that of many VERY experienced IUs and IJs was not in their  purview to do so.

It is not the worst case I have seen or commented on but a long stretch.

If you want a real clusterfuck...

At the Far East International Regatta here in China some years ago the prises were for 1st a For East 31; 2nd a Far East 28 and 3rd a Far East 23.

The boat in 4th received a penalty in the final race (on the water judging, judges decision was final according to SIs) THat boat claimed the penalty was in error so the RC gave redress of just enough to leapfrog the team into 3rd. 

The RC provided evidence of the penalty being taken in the form of the video log of the trackers on the boat.

the boat in question went into the penalty in 8th and came out of the penalty in 8th so no "place in the race made significantly worse".

However the RC awarded redress of 5.4 points (if I remember correctly) which was just enough to jump them over an Australian team that, like Sunrise, was already celebrating their success.

Our editor was competing and came 5th.

This was the article written at the time

https://sailinganarchy.com/2016/06/14/redress-that-wasnt/

Strangely that regatta has never happened again

See ya on the water -I'll likely be the one with the flag

SS

 

 

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2 hours ago, JonRowe said:

Linked to from their social accounts: https://sunrise-racing.com/rmsr2021.html#statement

A very well-written statement, with a clear route out of this mess for the RC. 

The most damning part of the statement seemed to be:

"The race organisers had already reported to the media by this point that Sunrise was winning the IRC overall race. These posts have now been removed from their website and social media channels."

This speaks of a desire to cover up some very public mistakes, and to believe you can get away with such actions as if no one would have noticed. In a sport where so many corinthian competitors put their heart, soul and substantial sums of their own money into racing, this smacks of a lack of respect for that commitment and an arrogance (echoed in their press release) that can only damage relationships between the club, the RC and the fleet. 

Ultimately, we all vote with our feet, so we'll know in 12 months time whether it has had a tangible impact. 

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1 minute ago, kingpin said:

Looking at the tracker Sunrise is one of about 20 boats that seems to have infringed the first TSS at Messina by going straight against the correct direction (from about 7:00am on oct 24th):

All these races have something in the SIs saying you can't protest off a YB track as it does not update frequently enough to say with any certainty whether a boat infringed. Particularly if it goes into power save mode.

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21 minutes ago, kingpin said:

Looking at the tracker Sunrise is one of about 20 boats that seems to have infringed the first TSS at Messina by going straight against the correct direction (from about 7:00am on oct 24th):

 

https://yb.tl/rmsr2021

 

No consequences for these boats?!

Trackers have a well known history for their inaccuracies.

There have been numerous occasions in the past where such accusations have been made and quickly disproven by interrogating the boats own GPS. They (the trackers) are there for public 'entertainment'. What would be relevant would be the 2m accurate GPS trace from the boat.

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33 minutes ago, JonRowe said:

+1 YB tracks are notoriously unreliable for judging wether a boat cleared or entered a TSS

in this case it was quite obvious,

not a small dip or cutting a corner but going right through the TSS 

Sunrise was not the only boat; only about 80% of the boats negotiated that area correctly?!

 

 

 

01.PNG

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04.PNG

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34 minutes ago, Snowden said:

I would suggest plotting the TSS per the SIs rather than looking at Navionics...

No boundary coordinates are given  in SI (like you know for example from a Fastnet).

 

SI wording is

"Attention is drawn to the following restricted areas to be complied with:

The Messina Traffic Separation Scheme"


 

A TSS is a TSS, if you cross the oncoming lane you have to do this as quick as possible / at 90°.

 

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Unlike the alternate finish, this was discussed at the briefing. the RC clarified it clear that it was not an exclusion and that you only got in trouble if the Italian Coast guard complained about you?! Another very strangely worded bit of sailing instructions.

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To me the statement from Sunrise only makes them look like whiners. When you enter an event you agree to abide by the rules. If someone feels that someone has done something wrong, then go to the Protest Committee/International Jury. If you don't agree with their decision, request redress. It is not the Race Committee that makes that final call, but the PC/IJ. You may not like their decision, but they have a lot more experience and knowledge than you, and are far more neutral than you. Accept it and go to the bar for a well earned drink. Don't go on social media and continue to complain.

I have always found that the IJ are more than willing to sit down with you and explain how and why they came to the decision they reached if you are unhappy.

Again, not the final call of the RC, so don't blame them if they followed the SIs and NOR as written, particularly if the IJ then agreed with them.

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1 hour ago, Chimp too said:

To me the statement from Sunrise only makes them look like whiners. When you enter an event you agree to abide by the rules. If someone feels that someone has done something wrong, then go to the Protest Committee/International Jury. If you don't agree with their decision, request redress. It is not the Race Committee that makes that final call, but the PC/IJ. You may not like their decision, but they have a lot more experience and knowledge than you, and are far more neutral than you. Accept it and go to the bar for a well earned drink. Don't go on social media and continue to complain.

I have always found that the IJ are more than willing to sit down with you and explain how and why they came to the decision they reached if you are unhappy.

Again, not the final call of the RC, so don't blame them if they followed the SIs and NOR as written, particularly if the IJ then agreed with them.

That's just the problem. The RC didn't follow the rules. Buy a rule book!

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Surely 64.3 applies or should have been applied by the jury.

A request for redress which might result in abandonment gives the committee the option of making an adjustment in the interest of fairness to all competitors.

The only other comment is that if I was Commanche I’d have retired rather than accept the poisoned chalice!

 

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For the IJ do decide that switching from the longer, of two specified courses, to the shorter.., is not the same thing as "shortening the course" under RRS 32.., is drawing quite a fine distinction - I think too fine a distinction for yacht racing...

It's not clear to me how one can argue that they are obviously and objectively wrong - on what would you base that argument?

I guess common sense.., but when has that ever been important in any kind of legal, or legal-like, process?

Still, it's very common that SI's have more than one course available to the RC: W/L.., WL twice around and so on.

How about if the SI's specified available courses as W.., W/L.., W/L/W.., W/L/W/L...?

Could the RC just take all the times at each mark, and then decide after a few boats have finished.., that the course was W/L/W.., and not the W/L/W/L that they originally called?

seems like that would be okay...

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If switching to the alternative finish line had moved Sunrise from 2nd overall to 1st overall instead of the reverse, would they be making the same argument "on principle"? Or would they take the first overall banner and run with it?

And for people (including the numerous IJs and rules experts supporting Sunrise) who insist that the SI is horribly written and obviously in error, where have you been for the several decades when that same SI has apparently been included?

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7 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

That's just the problem. The RC didn't follow the rules. Buy a rule book!

And while you're at it, get your IJ certification and spend years building the experience and reputation necessary to get yourself invited to sit on an international jury for a top tier event...

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I'm unlikely to be an IJ but I have been able to read since I was three (long time ago) The IJ clearly got this wrong - the SIs, which I had never looked at before, were badly written and clearly in conflict with RRS 32. Writing SIs for any event is a painstaking task which should not be undertaken lightly. It's not something you can knock off in half an hour. I guess that RMYC never asked an IJ to review their SIs as surely they would have picked up the potential for trouble with 11.2 

Equally the RRS are quite specific about the meaning of rules as being what they say, thus you cannot shorten the course after the first boat has finished. There can be no doubt in even the dimmest minds that this course was shortened.

It is interesting to speculate what Sunrise would do if the situation was reversed but that is idle speculation at best.

 

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1 hour ago, DtM said:

No matter what, no one sailed the shorter course.  Isn't that a problem?

No boat sailed it as the alternative line course description required it (round Valletta fairway buoy and then return and transit Comino strait east-to-west), but all boats sailed it the same way, and as the OA intended they should.

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24 minutes ago, DtM said:

It may be the way the OA, conveniently now say it should have been, but that is not what the SI's said.

Just because it is convenient does not make it correct. 

And just because no one compained about it, does not make it correct either.

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13 hours ago, us7070 said:

For the IJ do decide that switching from the longer, of two specified courses, to the shorter.., is not the same thing as "shortening the course" under RRS 32.., is drawing quite a fine distinction - I think too fine a distinction for yacht racing...

It's not clear to me how one can argue that they are obviously and objectively wrong - on what would you base that argument?

I guess common sense.., but when has that ever been important in any kind of legal, or legal-like, process?

Still, it's very common that SI's have more than one course available to the RC: W/L.., WL twice around and so on.

How about if the SI's specified available courses as W.., W/L.., W/L/W.., W/L/W/L...?

Could the RC just take all the times at each mark, and then decide after a few boats have finished.., that the course was W/L/W.., and not the W/L/W/L that they originally called?

seems like that would be okay...

Many events do list different courses and the course to be used for a particular race is often written up on a whiteboard on the stern of the committee boat (that action also included in the SI's and skipper's briefing) and perhaps also communicated using a dedicated channel on VHF with the need to carry a radio also in SIs and skipper's briefing. BUT the course is not changed part way through a race and DEFINITELY NOT after 2/3 of the fleet has finished  

13 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

If switching to the alternative finish line had moved Sunrise from 2nd overall to 1st overall instead of the reverse, would they be making the same argument "on principle"? Or would they take the first overall banner and run with it?

And for people (including the numerous IJs and rules experts supporting Sunrise) who insist that the SI is horribly written and obviously in error, where have you been for the several decades when that same SI has apparently been included?

Perhaps not. However it is likely that the only difference would be the name of the boat making the redress request and further comments. Does anyone really think with all the hot shots on Comanche that they would say nothing if the tables were turned? 

12 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

And while you're at it, get your IJ certification and spend years building the experience and reputation necessary to get yourself invited to sit on an international jury for a top tier event...

Yeah, I have to admit I am a relative beginner with only 800 and some races as umpire or on the water judge in my umpire log but in my comments I have sought advice/fact checked with a number of people who are IJ/IUs and who HAVE "spent years building the experience and reputation necessary" to officiate, be ChUmp and/or Chair at events much higher profile than this one.

6 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

No boat sailed it as the alternative line course description required it (round Valletta fairway buoy and then return and transit Comino strait east-to-west), but all boats sailed it the same way, and as the OA intended they should.

"Intent" has very little to do with it.. The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are, in effect, a contract between the organising authority and the competitors and it is what they ACTUALLY wrote which matters. Could you imagine a lawyer saying "that's not really what I meant when I wrote that in the contract" - he would be the laughing stock 

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Shanghai is spot on. The intentions of the OA are irrelevant, what matters are the RRS and the SIs. Their intention is not reflected in the SIs. I’d suggest they should have worded them as follows

1) The OA may declare the alternative finish line to be in use at any time before the last boat finishes the race(changes RRS 32).

2) When the alternative line is in use then each boat’s results shall be calculated using the time she crosses this line as her finish time.

3) When the alternative line is used then the last mark of the original course is omitted.  

4) The decision to use the alternative finish line shall not be subject to protest or request for redress.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Lynch said:

Shanghai is spot on. The intentions of the OA are irrelevant, what matters are the RRS and the SIs. Their intention is not reflected in the SIs. I’d suggest they should have worded them as follows

1) The OA may declare the alternative finish line to be in use at any time before the last boat finishes the race(changes RRS 32).

2) When the alternative line is in use then each boat’s results shall be calculated using the time she crosses this line as her finish time.

3) When the alternative line is used then the last mark of the original course is omitted.  

4) The decision to use the alternative finish line shall not be subject to protest or request for redress.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And thats EXACTLY what it will say in next years edition. 

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8 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

"Intent" has very little to do with it.. The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are, in effect, a contract between the organising authority and the competitors and it is what they ACTUALLY wrote which matters. Could you imagine a lawyer saying "that's not really what I meant when I wrote that in the contract" - he would be the laughing stock

OK. So having made a defective contract, the OA has made an unfixable error. Only fair result is abandonment. Congratulations to Rambler for retaining her course record. Nice sailing Comanche, Sunrise and everyone else but you get no result.

We good now?

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1 hour ago, TJSoCal said:

OK. So having made a defective contract, the OA has made an unfixable error. Only fair result is abandonment. Congratulations to Rambler for retaining her course record. Nice sailing Comanche, Sunrise and everyone else but you get no result.

We good now?

Don't know were you got that from? There have been a number of much more sensible suggestions that that up threat.

Original results stand for the proper finishers and redress for the ones incorrectly finished early. None of them were even close to threatening the corrected times of the leading boats. Better to have approx 70% correct finishers than none surely

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2 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Original results stand for the proper finishers and redress for the ones incorrectly finished early. None of them were even close to threatening the corrected times of the leading boats. Better to have approx 70% correct finishers than none surely

Firstly I'd say that when a PC is addressing a redress request due to an error or omission by the RC and trying to find a solution that is fairest for all boats, they should consider intent - what the RC/OA would like to have happened or what would have happened if the mistake had not been made.

So if OA had put in the same alternative finish line concept they've used since forever, remembered to delete the Valletta buoy and (for the purists) invoked it as a change to RRS 32, there would be no error and the results would be what they currently are, would they not?

That said, the suggestion above seems like it would also be a reasonable redress decision. I don't know if it's clearly superior to the decision reached by the IJ, and I expect Comanche and the other boats whose positions were improved by the IJ decision would disagree that your option is "most fair for all boats."

Any redress decision in this matter would be imperfect and some boats in the top 10 would be unhappy.

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6 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Firstly I'd say that when a PC is addressing a redress request due to an error or omission by the RC and trying to find a solution that is fairest for all boats, they should consider intent - what the RC/OA would like to have happened or what would have happened if the mistake had not been made.

So if OA had put in the same alternative finish line concept they've used since forever, remembered to delete the Valletta buoy and (for the purists) invoked it as a change to RRS 32, there would be no error and the results would be what they currently are, would they not?

That said, the suggestion above seems like it would also be a reasonable redress decision. I don't know if it's clearly superior to the decision reached by the IJ, and I expect Comanche and the other boats whose positions were improved by the IJ decision would disagree that your option is "most fair for all boats."

Any redress decision in this matter would be imperfect and some boats in the top 10 would be unhappy.

Driver: "I am sorry officer, I forgot to take my foot off the gas. I didn't intend to break the speed limit!"

Highway Patrol: "That's OK Sir, I know you didn't mean it. I'll just rip up up this speeding ticket then."

You are right however that returning the results to those before the actions of the Race Committee would (in my opinion and those of the extremely experienced IU/IJ I have been communicating with) "as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected" - note especially AS POSSIBLE

The one thing I would say is writing watertight Sailing Instructions is NOT easy as evidenced by this sorry mess

 

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7 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

 I don't know 

FIFY. 

We live in an imperfect world.

But this whole deal was a Cluster Fuck from the moment the RC decided to intervene.

It was flawed from much earlier. This would not be the first time SI's are found wanting. But everyone can be a genius with hindsight.

Lessons learned need to be applied rigorously around our sport.

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In my opinion there was nothing wrong with the SI, Race Officer's actions or the jury decision*.

The problem is that Sunrise has been given (or followed) some poor advice from some outspoken and emotionally charged commentators!  Sorry to all those who have spent hours arguing that the SI was wrong etc...  Time to move along.

Look, in the absence of SI11.3, if faced with the same weather circumstances, the RO would have no option but to abandon the race.  Ensuring the safety of the last few boats far outweighs the hopes and dreams of the boats already tucked up in the pens.

But we all would agree that abandonment would be most unsatisfactory for that race, in that situation.  It would just be unthinkable to have no result when so many have given so much time to it?  So an 'alternate line', which avoids the most likely 'crux' of the race (harbour entrance), is created.  That takes care of the the important requirement to consider all boats, by giving 'all boats another fair and safer line to cross'.

The SI simply was a combination of the principal that the RO may take drastic action (even abandon) in the name of safety (even after boats have finished), mixed in with a means to still get fair results by setting a 'line which all boats must cross and take times'.  The SI does not contradict, rely on or change any part of RRS32.  It merely draws upon some basic principals of RRS32, as well as the method to ensure results (create 'a line which all boats must cross and take times'.)  So, no need to call it an abandonment then - it's just a sailing instruction in place for bad weather.

The problem is the strong, but flawed assertion that this was a 'shortened course per RS32.2', and therefore could not be done after a boat had finished.  Duh!  Logic dictates that when race finishers span days rather than minutes, the weather may change over the course of boat's finishing.

RRS32.2 only applies to a course shortened using flags and signals. It says that in the first sentence.  The requirement at the end of RRS32.2 only applies to the 'shortened course' which is the subject of RRS32.2.  That's why they use the words 'the shortened course' in that sentence, not 'a shortened course'.  The SI11.3 was nothing of the sort.  Thus, the requirements of RRS32.2 don't apply here. End of.

Yes, there are lessons to be learnt.

The public statement from Sunrise describes the "familiar period of tension to see if some of the smaller boats still racing could beat our corrected time under IRC."  Maybe they forgot that the period of tension includes waiting to see if the weather changes enough for the RO to invoke SI11.3, since that may change the results further.  We do so much calculating of handicaps, and work out that no one can beat us, but did anyone calculate the 'alternate finish' corrections and say, "Hold on..."?  I guess not.

The race is not over until its over.

It's a real shame that this whole affair has been blown out of proportion.  Enough to get me out of retirement to post here.  Clearly there is a great deal of misunderstanding fuelling the situation too.

The SIs were fine.  They allow the race all the way to the harbour to be abandoned safely with a built-in means to still get a result for everything except the last 12 dangerous miles.  It has to be fair for the tail-end-charlies too.  With that in provision, the ROs decision to act in the name of safety was fine.  The jury were correct to judge that the SI is just an SI, not reliant or changing RRS32.

I do hope that some of those who adamantly cry foul sit back and think this through.

That's all.


DW

*(Except that they forgot to delete that last mark in SI11.3, but as we all know, that is largely moot since no boat, as far as I know, was worsened by that mistake.  Had one boat sailed per the SI, then it would be a difficult matter for sure!  The jury have touched on how they see the situation in the Case 6 decision, but really it amounts to nothing.  Bullet dodged!)

 

 

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But your postscript is the real problem.

Not one boat sailed the alternate (shorter) course. No one sailed the alternate race in accordance with the SI's.

You quickly (and belatedly) brush past that simple fact.

It is not a situation where the question to be asked is, was anyone "worsened by that mistake". Not relevant.

 

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Actually, that wasn't belatedly brushed past.  In my first draft it was in my first sentence.  I moved it to the end because it is a rather minor point.

No one sailed the correct course, but everyone sailed as fast as they could to the 'alternate line'.

So, let the results stand, and tidy up the SI for next year. 

I really don't know how that is critical to this situation.  Please explain.

 

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Either follow the SI's or you have Anarchy (oh wait a minute).  You have to sail the course. That is a fundamental.

They did not sail the course to the alternate line. Simple.

You can't rely on (your version of) the SI's for one point and ignore them (when inconvenient) on another.

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Correct, no one actually finished the alternative race since no one, in fact, sailed the alternative course. Even Dog Watch accepts that. He/she simply wants to ignore that fact and describes it as a "minor point" .

I just wonder if I chose to miss a short offset mark in a race and I beat him to win the world championship would he/she be so sanguine when I said to the Protest Committee, it is only a "rather minor point".

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Seriously! Don't put words into my mouth.  Clearly your last paragraph is different to what we have here.

My posts clearly recognise the problem here.  I just don't think it is related to the issue that Sunrise was celebrating her win before the 'alternative line' was invoked.  Had all the results stayed the same, this issue wouldn't have been brought up as anything other than.. 'we had better fix that for next year'.

If one boat had sailed the course and all the others did not, then sure.. then sure, if the jury did not find any grounds for redress, they may have to DSQ all the other boats.

The jury has already considered that there were grounds for redress based on 'confusing SI'.  I'm not saying I believe that. It's a whole other discussion.  But let's take that as their judgement.

In this case, ALL boats sailed the wrong course.  Given the jury has identified grounds for redress, the logical (fairest to all boats) would be to let the results stand since no boat's position was made significantly worse by the confusing SI.  This is an acceptable redress per RRS64.2.

So again... What good is the complaint about the fact that no boat backed up to the fairway buoy, as it relates to Sunrise's score being worsened?

 

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18 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Don't know were you got that from? There have been a number of much more sensible suggestions that that up threat.

Original results stand for the proper finishers and redress for the ones incorrectly finished early. None of them were even close to threatening the corrected times of the leading boats. Better to have approx 70% correct finishers than none surely

Yeah that's actually not correct, the current results are all 100% correct as every boat has to mark the time they sale though the the channel, so there is no real estimating here. 

Furthermore the problem of redressing the time of the last boats as to fit the original finish, though more "sensible", unlike the alternative finish line option, it is not considered or mentioned in the SI at all. 

This means:

1. Due to the screw up of the wording in the SI, the only Fully complying option would have been abandoning the race; and of course this would have not caused any outcry by anyone that had already finished.

2. Though imperfect and in conflict, use the alternative finish line for its intended purpose.

3. Have the remaining boats finish at the alternative finish and then redress their results to the full length course, making up a procedure and formula of how to redress them as its not covered in any part of the SI. 

The problems of the options:

Option 1: Everyone is pissed

Option 2: Its a fair measurement for all the boats as everyboat was timed at that line and it reflects every boats atual performance without the need to tweak numbers as to make them fit a course; some boats are pissed.

Option 3: Some boats are happy but at the same time you are telling the remaining boats "sorry guys, your times actually don't matter so we will be just making up the numbers for you for the rest of the course".


The questions that everyone else has to answer is:

Would we be actually be talking about this and/or anyone be complaining about this if the winner order would have stayed unaltered?

What is fairer, to have everyone finish and be measured in the same way, or to have some boats finish in one and making up numbers for the others?
 
 

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10 hours ago, DtM said:

I just wonder if I chose to miss a short offset mark in a race and I beat him to win the world championship would he/she be so sanguine when I said to the Protest Committee, it is only a "rather minor point".

If it wasn't completely clear whether you had to round the offset mark or not and nobody rounded it, would you prefer the race be abandoned or should it be considered a fair contest since everyone sailed the same (albeit "wrong") course?

Maybe in such a case the RC should just score everyone NSC without a hearing? 

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I was on the RC finish boat for a Friday Twilight. There was a huge cruise ship anchored near us, and the wind changed direction and blew hard, and it was going to hit us. So we upped anchor and headed towards the last mark to finish everyone there.

Only problem, one yacht had already rounded that mark, so obviously we could not use it as the finish line. Quick solution, hoist Code Flag S, and finish everyone as they passed by, taking a bearing to an onshore point to make the results as fair as possible.

Nothing to do with the thread, other than you can't shorten a course if someone has finished, or shorten at a mark if someone has already rounded it.

The feedback at the club was that everyone was thrilled to have had a race.

The winner got a Mickey Mouse watch. Second place got two..etc.

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Oh dear. The SI's were incorrectly written, the International Jury disregarded RRS32, the RC denied the right for skippers to decide to continue to race or not AFTER 69 of their fellow competitors had already finished (RRS3) 

The idea of abandoning the race altogether breaks RRS32.1 but after so many errors what's another one and you don't fix a Rules breach by breaking another one.

And if anyone thinks there was a stir caused by one 'Request for Redress'. Here we would have another "improper action or omission of the race committee and more importantly a NEW error entitling MOST (if not all) of the fleet to now request redress as even a last place result after all the valuable (holiday) time, effort and money they spent on getting to the venue and round the course is surely better than a ZERO result.

"Significantly worse?" It would take some working out where to draw the line on that one.

I hope RMYC have set aside the budget for the International Jury's time if they go down the abandoned route is all I would say.

10 days ago I did an analysis of what was (in my opinion) done wrong. I stopped when I got to 10 mistakes. I wrote it largely to clarify in my mind what happened and also to send much of it to very experienced IUs and IJs (ACs & other Rolex events included) to invite them to poke holes in anything I was thinking. To date responses have only been in agreement.

AS always however, I am open to contrary opinions.

SS

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Well - let's just see what the Court for Arbitration of Sport says about all this.

Either way a bad day for our sport.

We either follow the Racing Rules of Sailing and associated Race Documents (NoR & SI's) to the letter or we just don't bother.

Been an interesting discussion either way.

Didn't the Editor produce the SA Racing Rules a few years back? Tongue in cheek of course. :)

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Wow.

 

Has anyone suggested the race should be abandoned?  I hope not.  That would be unnecessary and unsatisfactory.

As for your analysis of errors (in your opinion), often mistakes are made. Often they are not crucial or critical.  Often they can be fixed or made 'fair'.  So the fact that mates you sent your analysis 'agree' with you, isn't remarkable really.

I stand by my opposite stance that:

1. The SI was OK.  The SI did not rely on, contradict or change RRS32 (see explanation above.)

2. The decision to use the SI was fine.  Even after boats had finished.

3. Therefore I do not see an improper action by the RC.  Therefore I do not see an improper action by the Jury.

4. That reverting back to the full course line and then giving redress for the last boats is both an improper action and a foolish course of action where almost everyone apart from Sunrise would have grounds for redress!

At the end of the day, this is a case of simply throwing away the Casio watches and popping the bubbly too early.

But who are we.. we're just two armchair guys fighting it out in an online forum!  We're not going to change anything here, it seems.. just enjoying the discussion..

So yes.  Let's see how CAS deal with it, if it goes there.

 

 

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9 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Oh dear. The SI's were incorrectly written, the International Jury disregarded RRS32, the RC denied the right for skippers to decide to continue to race or not AFTER 69 of their fellow competitors had already finished (RRS3) 

The idea of abandoning the race altogether breaks RRS32.1 but after so many errors what's another one and you don't fix a Rules breach by breaking another one.

And if anyone thinks there was a stir caused by one 'Request for Redress'. Here we would have another "improper action or omission of the race committee and more importantly a NEW error entitling MOST (if not all) of the fleet to now request redress as even a last place result after all the valuable (holiday) time, effort and money they spent on getting to the venue and round the course is surely better than a ZERO result.

"Significantly worse?" It would take some working out where to draw the line on that one.

I hope RMYC have set aside the budget for the International Jury's time if they go down the abandoned route is all I would say.

10 days ago I did an analysis of what was (in my opinion) done wrong. I stopped when I got to 10 mistakes. I wrote it largely to clarify in my mind what happened and also to send much of it to very experienced IUs and IJs (ACs & other Rolex events included) to invite them to poke holes in anything I was thinking. To date responses have only been in agreement.

AS always however, I am open to contrary opinions.

SS

I think you are missing the basic point of this. 

Every regulation has two parts to it, the letter and the spirit.

The letter is what it says in the book and which should but doesn't always express correctly the actual idea of the law, which is the spirit.


In Sports, the rules are written not as a way of hindering the sport but as a way to create a common ground of understanding between the competitors, of what they can and can not do as well as what is expected of them, so that competition can go ahead in a fair, clear and safe manner for everyone; THAT is the spirit, that is the goal. 

The rules can't forrsee every single scenario that can occur but it gives at least general guidelines of what to do when a scenario is not considered in a clear in direct way, because of the spirit of the rules.

In this case, when people invoque RSS 32.2, lets read it:

32.2.

If the race committee signals a shortened course (displays flag S with two sounds), the finishing line shall be,

  1. at a rounding mark, between the mark and a staff displaying flag S;
  2. a line the course requires boats to cross; or
  3. at a gate, between the gate marks.
The shortened course shall be signaled before the first boat crosses the finishing line.
 
What is the spirit? The spirit of this rule is that all the boats get to sail and race the same course and are measured/timed in the same way. 

Now why does it explicitly say "The shortened course shall be signaled before the first boat crosses the finishing line."? 

Because when that part was written, the writers had two things in mind:
1. Everyone will be in visual range of the committee position (displays flag S with two sounds)
2. No one is or might be marking the time of when the boats are actually crossing those shortened finish lines and thus changing the line after the 1st boat finished might mean that estimated calculations would need to be done to redress the boats whos time hadn't been marked which would potentially lead to unfair results as not all the boats would have been measured equally.  

In that sense 32.2's letter actually  covers the spirit of the rule only partially and is flawed in it self as in an offshore event you can't realistically expect a boat that is 50nm away from the finish to see the S flag or even hear the two sounds; and thus those boats would never be aware of a shortened track in the official manner as stated by the rule.

Now what happend with 32.2 and the IJ?

The IJ looked at 32.2, after clearing 32.1.d, checked it on 32.2.b/c and then ran into the problem of The shortened course shall be signaled before the first boat crosses the finishing line."
 The IJ then went and said "Well whats the actual spirit, the idea of this rule"; the idea is for all the boats to sail the same course and be measured in the same way as to make it as fair as possible.

Since the Si included boats having to mark their time at Comino, and there were additional means that enabled the RC to countercheck those times, the IJ decided that even though the measure was contradicting the letter of 32.2, it was in line with the spirit of the rule and green light it.

This decision was not only in line with the spirit of the RRS but also with the Spirit of the SI and intend of the RC; keeping the actual finish and redressing the remaining boats would actually have been against the spirit of RRS 32.2


Also:
RRS 32.1 says "... the race committee shall not abandon the race without considering the consequences for all boats in the race or series"; this does NOT mean that the race can not be abandoned after the 1st boat finished BUT that the impact of that decision has to be taken into account; the spirit is to avoid for this rule to be abused in favor of one competitor over an other. 

RRS 3 has NOTHING to do with this. The rule is about that no one can force a skipper and/or crew to participate in a competition and that it is up to each boat via the skipper, to decide if the conditions to participate are safe or not. This rule does NOT consider the course putting crew and material forcefully into harms way; which would have been the case had the weather forecast kicked in as predicted and the original line been kept. 
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SQB, you are really torturing the language of the rule to come to your conclusions, and if the IJ used your same  reasoning so did they.  The distances involved between boats is meaningless since the RC knew where all the boats were on the Course with the trackers.  
the SI 11.3 says:

”11.3 In the event that severe weather conditions prevent boats from entering Marsamxett Harbour to finish, the Race Committee reserves the right to have all boats finish by crossing an alternative finish line in the South Comino Channel formed by the following coordinates: -
Cirkewwa Point 35 ̊ 59.50’ N 14 ̊ 19.80’ E
Comino Island Point 36 ̊ 00.30’ N 14 ̊ 19.50’ E
If the alternative finish line is being used, the Race Committee will make every effort to advise boats by VHF Channel 72 or other means, such as SMS to the registered mobile phone.”

Nowhere in there do they state that they modify or eliminate RRS 32, so it remains in effect and it’s language is unambiguous.  The IJ was dead wrong in their ruling.

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1 hour ago, SeQuBu said:

I think you are missing the basic point of this. 

Every regulation has two parts to it, the letter and the spirit.

The letter is what it says in the book and which should but doesn't always express correctly the actual idea of the law, which is the spirit.


In Sports, the rules are written not as a way of hindering the sport but as a way to create a common ground of understanding between the competitors, of what they can and can not do as well as what is expected of them, so that competition can go ahead in a fair, clear and safe manner for everyone; THAT is the spirit, that is the goal. 

The rules can't forrsee every single scenario that can occur but it gives at least general guidelines of what to do when a scenario is not considered in a clear in direct way, because of the spirit of the rules.

In this case, when people invoque RSS 32.2, lets read it:

32.2.

If the race committee signals a shortened course (displays flag S with two sounds), the finishing line shall be,

  1. at a rounding mark, between the mark and a staff displaying flag S;
  2. a line the course requires boats to cross; or
  3. at a gate, between the gate marks.
The shortened course shall be signaled before the first boat crosses the finishing line.
 
What is the spirit? The spirit of this rule is that all the boats get to sail and race the same course and are measured/timed in the same way. 

Now why does it explicitly say "The shortened course shall be signaled before the first boat crosses the finishing line."? 

Because when that part was written, the writers had two things in mind:
1. Everyone will be in visual range of the committee position (displays flag S with two sounds)
2. No one is or might be marking the time of when the boats are actually crossing those shortened finish lines and thus changing the line after the 1st boat finished might mean that estimated calculations would need to be done to redress the boats whos time hadn't been marked which would potentially lead to unfair results as not all the boats would have been measured equally.  

In that sense 32.2's letter actually  covers the spirit of the rule only partially and is flawed in it self as in an offshore event you can't realistically expect a boat that is 50nm away from the finish to see the S flag or even hear the two sounds; and thus those boats would never be aware of a shortened track in the official manner as stated by the rule.

Now what happend with 32.2 and the IJ?

The IJ looked at 32.2, after clearing 32.1.d, checked it on 32.2.b/c and then ran into the problem of The shortened course shall be signaled before the first boat crosses the finishing line."
 The IJ then went and said "Well whats the actual spirit, the idea of this rule"; the idea is for all the boats to sail the same course and be measured in the same way as to make it as fair as possible.

Since the Si included boats having to mark their time at Comino, and there were additional means that enabled the RC to countercheck those times, the IJ decided that even though the measure was contradicting the letter of 32.2, it was in line with the spirit of the rule and green light it.

This decision was not only in line with the spirit of the RRS but also with the Spirit of the SI and intend of the RC; keeping the actual finish and redressing the remaining boats would actually have been against the spirit of RRS 32.2


Also:
RRS 32.1 says "... the race committee shall not abandon the race without considering the consequences for all boats in the race or series"; this does NOT mean that the race can not be abandoned after the 1st boat finished BUT that the impact of that decision has to be taken into account; the spirit is to avoid for this rule to be abused in favor of one competitor over an other. 

RRS 3 has NOTHING to do with this. The rule is about that no one can force a skipper and/or crew to participate in a competition and that it is up to each boat via the skipper, to decide if the conditions to participate are safe or not. This rule does NOT consider the course putting crew and material forcefully into harms way; which would have been the case had the weather forecast kicked in as predicted and the original line been kept. 

So funny

I was going to answer but "predictions"???, "spirit and not what the words in a rule say"???

"Even though the measure was contradicting the letter of 32.2"???? 

What right has a jury that is there to uphold the letter of the rules to do the opposite. If that was really what they did they have absolutely NO right to be a judge at any level. No one is above the law (as some politicians may be about to find out) or the rules otherwise we have - Oh dear - we have here - Anarchy. 

I'm out - this is getting too silly.

 

 

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Possibly of interest, the language in rule 32 prohibiting shortening course after a boat has finished was added to RRS in the 2009-2012 rulebook, before that the rules were silent on that matter. That's probably after the Middle Sea alternative finish line SI was originally written.

Might be interesting to see if the language of the SI has changed over the years. And, has the Valletta fairway buoy always been a mark of the course?

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7 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Possibly of interest, the language in rule 32 prohibiting shortening course after a boat has finished was added to RRS in the 2009-2012 rulebook, before that the rules were silent on that matter. That's probably after the Middle Sea alternative finish line SI was originally written.

Might be interesting to see if the language of the SI has changed over the years. And, has the Valletta fairway buoy always been a mark of the course?

I tried to Google earlier SIs but the search always defaults to 2021 site.

However the RYA Case Book, Case RYA 1996/4 as part of the summary of facts states "Class 1 could not be shortened at that mark because Stampede had already rounded it"

I am not disputing you TJSoCal but there does appear to be a rule that prevented shortening after a boat had passed a mark in 1996 otherwise it would not have been relevant in a 'Summary of Facts'. I don't have RRS 2005- or 2001- they were both before I realised the value of keeping old rules books  

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There are two kinds of shortened course.  Ones which are signalled (S flag and sound signals) and ones which are not!

That's a perfectly valid interpretation of the first line of RRS32.2.

SeQuBe discusses the 'letter and spirit' of a rule.  I think his discussion actually takes this whole debate to a very high level.  He is drives at a well known legal process known as 'Statutory Interpretation'.  However that discussion is possibly too high for this case!

I do draw on one paragraph from SeQuBe's post.

Quote

"In that sense 32.2's letter actually  covers the spirit of the rule only partially and is flawed in it self as in an offshore event you can't realistically expect a boat that is 50nm away from the finish to see the S flag or even hear the two sounds; and thus those boats would never be aware of a shortened track in the official manner as stated by the rule."

Here SeQuBe recognises the problem with any kind of signalling and hoisting flags during an offshore race.  The distances are so huge that it is absurd require signals and flags, when competitors are well out of sight and earshot.  I agree. It's common sense.

But here's where SeQuBe's reasoning veers from my view.  I don't think its necessary to drill down the 'letter and spirit' interpretation remedy.

Instead, I see that RRS32 (particularly 32.2) can be literally read as only applying to shortened courses which are signalled and flagged.  (The corollary is that RRS32 doesn't apply to shortened courses which are not signalled or flagged.)

Also, I recognise that the nothing prevents an SI being written which shortens a course without signals and flags.  Sure, the race committee could have utilised 32.2 and said that the shortened course would be signalleed say, by Navtext.  If they did that, they would need to cite that they were changing RRS32.2.  But they didn't.

Instead, they did not use RRS32 as the basis of their bad weather solution.  They were clever not to even use the term 'shortened course'.  There is no mention of RRS32.2.

They wrote a standalone SI.

In which case, I don't see that SI11.3 is bound by any part of the RRS32.  Including the requirement that it can't be used if one boat has finished.

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It looks like the authors of the NOR and SI’s put an escape clause and may be what the IJ is hanging their hats on.  
 

“1.2 In the event of any conflict between the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions, the Sailing Instructions and any amendments thereto shall prevail. This changes RRS 63.7”

so whatever rules they break in the SI’s are covered by 1.2 I guess

 

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13 hours ago, sailman said:

It looks like the authors of the NOR and SI’s put an escape clause and may be what the IJ is hanging their hats on.  
 

“1.2 In the event of any conflict between the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions, the Sailing Instructions and any amendments thereto shall prevail. This changes RRS 63.7”

so whatever rules they break in the SI’s are covered by 1.2 I guess

 

I don't think that does it, it only deals with conflicts between the NOR & SIs, not if either or both conflict with RRS.

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15 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

I tried to Google earlier SIs but the search always defaults to 2021 site.

However the RYA Case Book, Case RYA 1996/4 as part of the summary of facts states "Class 1 could not be shortened at that mark because Stampede had already rounded it"

I am not disputing you TJSoCal but there does appear to be a rule that prevented shortening after a boat had passed a mark in 1996 otherwise it would not have been relevant in a 'Summary of Facts'. I don't have RRS 2005- or 2001- they were both before I realised the value of keeping old rules books  

I think the relevant rule from 1996 would be 5.4(c), combined with the Race Committee Signals for shortening course (flag S) contained in then rule 4.1:

Quote

After the starting signal, the race committee may: when prescribed in the sailing instructions, change the course at any rounding mark subject to proper notice being given to each yacht before she begins the changed leg...

I guess that language, by logical extension, would prevent the RC from shortening the course after a boat had finished the longer course. In 2009 they made that explicit.

It is sad that so many old rulebooks have been lost to time. But thank goodness (again) for Paul Elvstrom - I've discovered that old editions of "PE Explains the RRS" can be found online, often at very cheap prices. Sometimes they even still have the plastic boat models tucked into the slipcover.

 

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On 11/12/2021 at 11:19 PM, sailman said:

1.3 In the event that severe weather conditions prevent boats from entering Marsamxett Harbour to finish

Isn't this the key statement.  The harbour was never closed so skippers would have to make their own decision to enter or not.  Its a Cat 2 race not a day sail.  Even boats in the Round the World race stopped racing until conditions allowed them to push hard again.  It appears the boats that sailed the shorter course then subsequently sailed on to enter the harbour, so conditions did not prevent them from entering the harbour.  I think the RC jumped the gun with their decision. 

How to rectify is difficult, how about; keep the results of the original course, then recalculate the remaining boats by whatever method and if a boat calculates to a place that is already taken by the first result, award that placing to the boats that sailed to the alternate finishing line.  Which means they may end up with two first places and so on.

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7 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

I don't think that does it, it only deals with conflicts between the NOR & SIs, not if either or both conflict with RRS.

The NOR says the race is governed by the RRS.  The SI Instruction conflicts with the NOR in that it ignores Rule 32.  
 

I am just throwing this out there to figure out why the IJ rules the way they did.  I understand why IJ rulings are final, but what will happen if decision was not based in sound reasoning or was influenced by something other than the rules?