Chicago Race Committee Fiasco

tmod123

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In the recent Verve Cup Off shore Regatta in Chicago, The Race committee finish boat was at the wrong location per the sailing Instructions. Now the dilemma, do you go to the SI coordinates for the finish or go to the finish boat with the finish signal flag flying? The protest ruling was, you go to the SI coordinates for the finish and record your own finish time.

If a Race Committee screws up this badly, shouldn't they buy you drinks?

If you do a Chicago Regatta, be prepared for anything, it is like the wild [email protected]!

 

ropetrick

Super Anarchist
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The more things change the more they stay the same.

You can appeal the decision unless it was an international jury.

Cut and dried to me; finish at the boat flying the correct flags.

 
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The SIs state:

Coordinates (7) are 'approximate'

Finish (13) is between a staff on the boat and a finishing mark

Hard to believe their decision

 

ftbinc

Member
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Chciago
WHAT WENT DOWN WITH AS LITLE EDITORIALIZING AS I CAN MUSTER:

Protest committee found that the race committe was not on station, finding a boat flying race committee flags 3/4 to one mile west of the location in the SIs would not constitute a rc boat on station. Additionally, the SIs in instruction 9 defined the finish mark as an orange inflatable mark. At the exact location listed in the SIs for the finish mark, there was an orange inflatable mark as described in SI9. Where the committee boat was, there was no inflatable mark of any color, just a fixed cyc skyline series white perminate buoy.

Rule 34 us sailing prescription says that "if the race committee is absent (remember the PC found the boat was "not on station") when a boat finishes she should report her finish time and her position to nearby boats at the first reasonable opportunity" the first five boats to finish did not pass the orange mark to port but went directly to the boat flying a blue rc flag west of the finish mark, these boats were protested pund rule 28 (sailing the course) Boats starting with the 6th boat to finish pasted the mark to port then headed west to the harbor where they encountered the rc boat and had their times recorded incorrectly.

Some boats did take their times and recorded them on their protest forms/request for redress.

The protest committee did not promptly hear the protests of the 1st five boats under rule 28 and instead took up the requests for redress Saturday night. They proceeded to ask all boats to list their own finish times at the orange mark on a clipboard in the front of the committee room. In ORR section 1, all but three boats, listed times.

Today, they listed the results of ORR 1, which were promptly questioned, asking if the PC or rc did a reason ability check on the reported times (looking at the deltas between the reported time and the time the rc boat recorded the time. The distance was the distance between skyline mark 1 and mark 2. They could have Tossed the boats that reported physical impossible deltas ). The PC was also asked if they held a hearing on the alleged rule 28 violation of the 1st five boats to finish( they didn't ) and they scored three of these boats (2 of these boats admitted to not passing the orange mark to port and should be respected for their honesty.)

So instead of scoring the boats that sailed the course, and complied with rule 34 and holding a hearing on the rule 28 protests. They abandoned the entire race.

Personal opinion- the rc and PC took the easy way out. They had enough evidence to score the boats that followed the SIs and the RRS w/us prescriptions. They had unheard protests under rule 28, which they failed to hear promptly, or take evidence promptly (rule 61) The abanding of the race was not done in compliance with rule 64.2, since the understand at the conclusion of Saturdays hearing was the boats would be scored based on their finish times at the orange buoy. On Sunday the race was abandoned, without notifing the interested/affected parties or allowing any of those parties a chance to be heard.

This should be appealed and the boats that sailed the course, and complied with rule 34 should be properly scored.

 
The RC can abandon a race "for any other reason directly affecting the safety or fairness of the competition"

Having some of the fleet going to a finish line set up quite some distance from where the SI stated it would be affects the fairness of the race.

They did the right thing.

 

ftbinc

Member
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Chciago
The RC can abandon a race "for any other reason directly affecting the safety or fairness of the competition"

Having some of the fleet going to a finish line set up quite some distance from where the SI stated it would be affects the fairness of the race.

They did the right thing.
Except for three things:

1. the PC found there was no race committee on station

2. There was a proper mark, as described by the SIs at the exact location described in the SIs ( and there was not a proper mark, as described by the SIs where a race committee boat was ( so there were at least three or more races going on in close proximity so the conclusion by some boats to go a mile west to finish is not a great argument)

3. Some boats sailed the race according to the SIs and RRS (taking and recording their times.). Because some boats ignored the SIs and finished improperly is a poor reason ( and unfair) to not score those that did.

 

ftbinc

Member
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Chciago
Everything you describe affects the fairness of the racing.

PC error - the RC was on station (assuming they displayed a blue flag) - just not where they were supposed to be.
Everything you describe affects the fairness of the racing. PC error - the RC was on station (assuming they displayed a blue flag) - just not where they were supposed to be.
Since the rc boat was 1 mile away from the SI location of the finish, the race committee was absent. ( if I go to work at An office one mile from my office will my boss think I'm not absent?) Read rule 34 and the US prescription. It looks to me this rule should apply. Just because it is a rare occurrence and most do not know of this rule and prescription, it doesn't mean the fairness of the race was impacted. The boats that did not finish properly did not know of or understand this rule. The boats that did should not be penalized and should be scored.

I hope someone affected appeals this and we get some casebook guidance on this type of occurrence so PCs and RCs know how to handle these in the future.

Right now the PC/RC is dammed if they abandon and dammed if they score some boats. It would give future race organizers cover for their decisions.

They are all volunteers, trying their best to present good races. Most of the time they do and I hope no one misconstrues my writings as not recognizing their volunteer status and appreciating their time and efforts. Thank you race committee and protest committee.

 
RRS34 doesn't apply. RC didn't act on it.

Some boats sailed to finish at the RC boat which I presume was flying the on station flag (if that flag is displayed, the finish line is established even if it is not where the SI say it should be) . Some followed the US prescription (one that is NOT in the ISAF RRS - maybe for a good reason). Trying to grant redress & manufacture finish times failed and the result was unfair to some boats - PC error. The RC can abandon the race after the finish having given due consideration on the effect of such action on competitors

Funny thing about the RRS. Every time some organization fucks with them there is unhappiness.

 
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Brass

Super Anarchist
2,759
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hope someone affected appeals this and we get some casebook guidance on this type of occurrence so PCs and RCs know how to handle these in the future.
This doesn't need a case. There's a pretty well-trodden path that goes as follows.

If, as a result of poor drafting of SI, or some other action of the race committee, there is confusion in the minds of competitors as to what course is required to be sailed and some competitors sail one course and some sail another and there are one or more protests for breach of rule 28 then:

  • The protest committee should, in their warm dry committee room, carefully consider the SI and the actions of the race committee and, if possible, decide which course was the correct course as specified in the SI.If it is not possible to decide what was the correct course as specified in the SI, then the race should be abandoned but see Note 1
  • If there is evidence that some boats who were validly protested did not sail the course determined as correct by the protest committee, these boats should be disqualified.

[*]All other boats that have not been validly protested and penalised should be scored based on their finishing positions/times, as adjusted for the disqualifications.
[*]the protest committee should then consider redress for the boats that have been disqualified. If the protest committee is satisfied that the confusing instructions or actions of the race committee were an improper action (which they should usually do), and that the confusion in the minds of the competitors was caused by the improper action and that it was not reasonable for them, in the stress of competing on the water to have resolved the confusion, and thus that there was no fault of their own the protest committee should decide that those boats were entitled to redress.
[*]the following logic can then be applied to determine the arrangement as fair as possible to all boats affected.
  • The boats that have not been penalised have had a fair race among themselves;
  • The boats that all sailed the same course, but different from that required in the SI have had a fair race among themselves.
  • It would not be fair to score any boat that had not complied with all the rules including rule 28 as well or better than those boats that did comply with all the rules.
  • The boats that were disqualified should be given redress, in their order of placing, commencing with the place immediately following the place of the last of the boats that were not disqualified.

Note 1 A protest committee cannot abandon a a race unless they can conclude that a boat is entitled to redress. If they can't find a boat whose score was made worse by the improper action of the race committee, through no fault of her own, then all the protest committee can do is suggest to the race committee that the race committee abandon the race.

Note 2. This process is not a 'gimme' for a competitor who is too lazy to read the SI, or unreasonably dumb in applying them. the gateway to the redress is that the pretest committee is satisfied that confusion was reasoanbly caused by the improper action and not the fault of the competitors.

Right now the PC/RC is dammed if they abandon and dammed if they score some boats. It would give future race organizers cover for their decisions.

They are all volunteers, trying their best to present good races. Most of the time they do and I hope no one misconstrues my writings as not recognizing their volunteer status and appreciating their time and efforts. Thank you race committee and protest committee.
Right now the PC/RC is dammed if they abandon and dammed if they score some boats. It would give future race organizers cover for their decisions.
There is no such thing as PC/RC. The protest committee is required to be separate from and independent from the race committee.

Abandoning is a lousy solution but is quite legal for the race committee unless they are foolish enough to announce that they have not considered the consequences for all boats in the race or series in accordance with rule 32.1.

It is not legal for the protest committee, as discussed in Note 1 above to abandon a race unless they can find at least one boat that is entitled to redress (rule 64.2).

They are all volunteers, trying their best to present good races. Most of the time they do and I hope no one misconstrues my writings as not recognizing their volunteer status and appreciating their time and efforts. Thank you race committee and protest committee.
Being a volunteer is not an excuse for failing to comply with the rules and the national prescriptions.

 

Brass

Super Anarchist
2,759
171
The SIs state:

Coordinates (7) are 'approximate'

Finish (13) is between a staff on the boat and a finishing mark

Hard to believe their decision

WHAT WENT DOWN WITH AS LITLE EDITORIALIZING AS I CAN MUSTER:

Protest committee found that the race committe was not on station, finding a boat flying race committee flags 3/4 to one mile west of the location in the SIs would not constitute a rc boat on station.

Additionally, the SIs in instruction 9 defined the finish mark as an orange inflatable mark. At the exact location listed in the SIs for the finish mark, there was an orange inflatable mark as described in SI9. Where the committee boat was, there was no inflatable mark of any color, just a fixed cyc skyline series white perminate buoy.

Rule 34 us sailing prescription says that "if the race committee is absent (remember the PC found the boat was "not on station") when a boat finishes she should report her finish time and her position to nearby boats at the first reasonable opportunity"

You have messed up the quotation. Here is Rule 34 with the US Sailing Prescription

34 MARK MISSING, RACE COMMITTEE ABSENT

If a mark is missing or out of position, the race committee shall, if possible,

(a) replace it in its correct position or substitute a new one of similar appearance, or

( B) substitute an object displaying flag M and make repetitive sound signals.

US Sailing prescribes that, if a finishing mark is missing but another one remains in place, the finishing line is a line through the remaining mark at a 90 [degree] angle to the last leg and of the shortest practicable length. If the race committee is absent when a boat finishes, she should report to the race committee her finishing time and her position in relation to nearby boats at the first reasonable opportunity.

the first five boats to finish did not pass the orange mark to port but went directly to the boat flying a blue rc flag west of the finish mark, these boats were protested under rule 28 (sailing the course)

Boats starting with the 6th boat to finish passed the mark to port then headed west to the harbor where they encountered the rc boat and had their times recorded incorrectly.

Some boats did take their times and recorded them on their protest forms/request for redress.

The protest committee did not promptly hear the protests of the 1st five boats under rule 28 and instead took up the requests for redress Saturday night. They proceeded to ask all boats to list their own finish times at the orange mark on a clipboard in the front of the committee room. In ORR section 1, all but three boats, listed times.

There is nothing in the RRS that requires a protest committee to hear protests promptly, or to hear protests before considering requests for redress.

So, what the protest committee appears to be trying to do was to facilitate boats complying with the US Sailing Prescription and report their finishing times. That looks like a very good idea to me.

Today, they listed the results of ORR 1, which were promptly questioned, asking if the PC or rc did a reason ability check on the reported times

I presume by 'they' you mean the race committee. It's not the business of protest committees to list results.

I further presume that the protest committee was not announcing any decision on a protest or a redress, but rather the race committee was acting, as envisaged by the US Sailing prescription and relying on the times reported by the competitors.

There is no room in the US Sailing prescription for any race official to conduct a reason ability, or any other check on finishing times reported by competitors.

(looking at the deltas between the reported time and the time the rc boat recorded the time. The distance was the distance between skyline mark 1 and mark 2. They could have Tossed the boats that reported physical impossible deltas ).

​What rule do you think boats could have been disqualified under?

As I understand it, these boats were the ones that passed close to the orange mark and requested redress. Didn't you say it was the boats that went directly to the race committee boat that had been protested?

You can't disqualify a boat that has not been validly protested.

If you were thinking about rule 2/69, what recognised principle of sportsmanship do you think it was clearly established that they violated?

If the race committee couldn't get their boat within a mile of the required position for the finishing line, why would a protest committee be comfortably satisfied that their recording of times was accurate and precise?

The PC was also asked if they held a hearing on the alleged rule 28 violation of the 1st five boats to finish( they didn't ) and they scored three of these boats (2 of these boats admitted to not passing the orange mark to port and should be respected for their honesty.)

Once again, I presume that by 'they' you mean the race committee.

So instead of scoring the boats that sailed the course, and complied with rule 34 and holding a hearing on the rule 28 protests. They abandoned the entire race.

Who did? The race committee or the protest committee?

Personal opinion- the rc and PC took the easy way out.

Sorta looks that way, but if they had never seen the two level redress logic I described in my previous post I can understand them thinking there was no other way out.

They had enough evidence to score the boats that followed the SIs and the RRS w/us prescriptions. They had unheard protests under rule 28, which they failed to hear promptly, or take evidence promptly (rule 61)

The word 'promptly' does not appear in rule 61.

The abandoning of the race was not done in compliance with rule 64.2,

That might be a problem if it was abandoned by the protest committee.

If, on the other hand, it was abandoned by the race committee, the relevant rule is rule 31 and if there is any reason directly affecting the fairness of the competition, as long as the race committee does not announce that they did not consider the consequences for all boats in the race or series, its very hard to not comply with rule 31.

since the understand at the conclusion of Saturdays hearing was the boats would be scored based on their finish times at the orange buoy. On Sunday the race was abandoned, without notifing the interested/affected parties or allowing any of those parties a chance to be heard.

Not required if the race committee abandons under rule 31.

This should be appealed and the boats that sailed the course, and complied with rule 34 should be properly scored.

RRS34 doesn't apply. RC didn't act on it.

See rule 34 with the US Sailing Prescription quoted in full above.

One finishing mark was present in the location specified for the finishing line in the SI.

The other finishing mark (the race committee vessel) was not at that location.

That looks very much like one finshing mark missing and one remaining in place,which is the condition for the first sentence of the US Prescription to apply.

The race committee vessel, and hence the race committee was not present when boats finished, therefore it was absent, and this is the condition for the second sentence of the US Prescription to apply.

Some boats sailed to finish at the RC boat which I presume was flying the on station flag (if that flag is displayed, the finish line is established even if it is not where the SI say it should be) .

Can you quote any Case, Appeal or other authority to support your opinion? I'm not aware of anything remotely looking like it.

The protest committee found (in what context I'm not certain) that the race committee was not on station, finding a boat flying race committee flags 3/4 to one mile west of the location in the SIs would not constitute a rc boat on station. I'm happy to construe that as 'the race committee was absent' and 'the race committee flying race committee flags (which I presume included the blue on station flag), at that incorrect location was an improper action'.

Some followed the US prescription (one that is NOT in the ISAF RRS - maybe for a good reason).

What in the world is that meant to mean?

There are literally hundreds of MNA prescriptions that are not in the RRS. Not being in the RRS is more or less what defines a MNA Prescription.

Trying to grant redress & manufacture finish times failed and the result was unfair to some boats - PC error.

As indicated above, because of the unclear description, we don't know if the protest committee ever gave redress to any boats,or even produced a decision on a request for redress.

The RC can abandon the race after the finish having given due consideration on the effect of such action on competitors

Funny thing about the RRS. Every time some organization fucks with them there is unhappiness.
 
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Gone Drinking

Super Anarchist
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BRASS - there is nothing in the rules that states that 'The protest committee is required to be separate from and independent from the race committee.' An international jury yes but a Protest Committee doesn't have the same requirement.

This whole thing would have been cleaner if the RC abandoned the race which they are entitled to do at any time. This would fall under 32.1 (d) and (e).

 

Brass

Super Anarchist
2,759
171
BRASS - there is nothing in the rules that states that 'The protest committee is required to be separate from and independent from the race committee.' An international jury yes but a Protest Committee doesn't have the same requirement.

This whole thing would have been cleaner if the RC abandoned the race which they are entitled to do at any time. This would fall under 32.1 (d) and (e).
On independent, ya got me there

N1.1 An international jury shall be composed of experienced sailors with

excellent knowledge of the racing rules and extensive protest

committee experience. It shall be independent of and have no

members from the race committee,

On separate from: protest committee is convened under rule 91, race committee convened under rule 90.1. Separate rules, separate entities , separate duties.

Having appropriate competent people from the race committee on the protest committee works find until you get a request for redress against the race committee, when you are running big risks of conflict of interest (not to mention perceived bias).

 

Gone Drinking

Super Anarchist
1,402
48
Agree - separate rules, separate entities, separate duties but can be the same people. Agree that could not sit on a redress hearing if the redress involved the RC.

 

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