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Starting under Black Flag


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Starting under Black Flag rules is common in full size racing but rare in RC racing but it has been in force in the current IOM worlds.

I was asked my opinion on the following scenario, which I gave but with more time to think about it maybe a different answer would/ should have been forth coming.

Starting under black flag

A few seconds before the gun Boat A is hovering on starboard at the windward end of the line.

Boat B approaches from astern at full speed, realises it is early and in manoeuvring in an attempt to avoid crossing the line hits Boat A on the transom.

Boat A is forced across the line before the gun

Boat B acknowledges the contact, does a turn, and does not cross the start line until after the gun.

RO calls Boat A Black flag and is DSQ

Questions

Is there any way a protest committee can offer any comfort to boat A ?

If boat A protests boat B on the basis of gaining an unfair advantage, what would be the likely outcome ?

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Questions

Q1. Is there any way a protest committee can offer any comfort to boat A ?

Q2. If boat A protests boat B on the basis of gaining an unfair advantage, what would be the likely outcome ?

 

For Q1,I think the answer is NO. These circumstances do not fit any of the list of items fro which redress may be granted.

For Q2.It is possible, even likely that a Protest Committee may find 'significant advantage' and dsq the keep clear boat, but I think the offending keep clear boat should retire for causing the ROW boat to BDF, regardless of any rules.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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There were indeed a large number of starts under black flag in Foster City. This was one of the few negative aspects of the event.

In reply to your questions:

1. In order to give redress the PC would have to establish that A's score was made significantly worse, through no fault of her own, by the actions a B that resulted in B being penalised under rule 2 Fair Sailing, or penalised or warned under rule 69.

2. Under what rule would A protest B for 'unfair advantage' other than rule 2? Under E4.3(b) a boat can take additional penalty turns. If A is BFD, B ceases to have a 'significant advantage once she is in last place in the heat after taking one or more penalties. The gentlemanly reaction would be to retire, but there is no rule that requires competitors to be gentlemen.

Gordon

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Even though A is given BFD, A can still protest B for the breach of the rule that forced A over the line - eg A is sitting just below the line, pointing on a close hauled course, but with sails luffing, and B breaks R 12 by sailing into the transom of A, pushing A over the line. If B took a one penalty turn, could not the PC could find that a one turn penalty was insufficient and 'significant advantage' existed after the penalty and so R 44 was not satisfied and further penalise B?

I think this represents a ' hole' in the rules - For example, if keep clear-B crashed into ROW-A and A is knocked out of the heat as 'disabled, then B must retire. Here we have a situation where B breaks a rule and knocks A out of the race - but there is no similar defined consequence.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Thanks for the replies,


On a related matter that of scoring, am I correct in thinking

In a one heat Race, Boat A would score Fleet plus 1 point for a DSQ, Boat B would also score Fleet plus 1 if they retired.

In Multiple heats Race, Boat A would still score Fleet plus 1 ( which maybe 54 plus 1) but Boat B would score Heat number plus 1 ( which maybe 16 plus 1), both boats being demoted one fleet.

I which case the argument for boat B gaining an advantage seems stronger.

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There could be another way of dealing with this situation.

In big boat sailing the penalty for OCS and BFD is the same. It is HMS that introduces a different, higher penalty for BFD.

It would be possible to change HMS so that BFD was scored the same as OCS.

Boat B is required to continue taking turns until she no longer has a significant advantage. As B cannot be scored worse than A, and if she finishes she will still have an advantage over A, she should retire.

Gordon

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HI Gordon,

I missed it too when I was researching the situation - the title did not help as it did not refer to the black flag start, yet that is what it is all about.

If this Q/A will make it into the ISAF Case Book, then there is no need to put it in the IRSA book - in my opinion, the IRSA book should only include items applicable to RC sailing eg based on Appendix E or depth perception or HMS, and not include situations where the application if a rule is identical to big boat s and already included in the ISAF Case Book.

Regards

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Having taken more time to think this through, a boat that has been shunted over the line on a Black Flag start cannot return and restart. Rule E3.7 requires her to leave the course area as soon as she is hailed by the RC.

Maybe, a very 'on the ball' Race Officer may decide not to hail the 'shunted' boat.

So, unless this happens, at the very best the 'shunted boat' could only be exonerated from being BFD and be scored DNS.

Gordon

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There are disadvantages in not getting a BFD boat off the race track. If they are permitted to sail on they can interfere with other boats (even if they do not break a rule in doing so). Most sailors would prefer the BFD boat not to be there.

There does seem to be a case for experimentation There are several ways to resolve this issue, each of which may have unintended consequences.

Gordon

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My point is that E3.7 is not needed - there are already rules that cover a boat not racing. E3.7 seems to be saying that RC sailors are dumber than full size sailors and have to be told to get out of the way. R 30.3 says you are DSQ without a hearing. If you are DSQ you act accordingly.

The point of the Q&A answer that there should be recourse for a ROW boat that is pushed over by another boat that is breaking a rule of Part 2. If Appendix E is interfering with that recourse, then the Appendix E item needs to be fixed.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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On re-reading E3.7, it looks to me that its purpose is to relate to the second part of R30.3 and the actions of the Race Committee about displaying the sail number of an offending boat in a subsequent restart of that heat.

So I take the view that the Q&A answer does apply to RC sailing.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Unfortunately judges do not apply what a rules was intended to do, or what it looks like the rule may be trying to say. We are pedantic creatures and we apply the rule as is written, unless we find an authoritative text that inteprets the rule differently

Rule E3.7 is clear: if the race committee informs a boat that she has broken rule 30.3 then she shall immediately leave the course area.

If the race committee does not inform her then she does not need to leave the course area.

For the Q&A to allow the boat shunted across the line to sail on the race committee must NOT tell her she was BFD. I would be grateful for any feedback at events in which the RC adopts the policy of not hailing. Interestingly, there does not seem to be a rule that obliges the RC to hail.

Gordon

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Hi Gordon,

Can we send in an additional clarifying question to the Q&A asking two additional questions about this case.

1. How does Answer 2 relate to RC sailing and E3.7.

If the answer to 1 is NO. then Q2 follows

2. When the keep clear boat broke a rule of Part 2 and forced the ROW to break R 30.3, may the Keep clear boat take an R44 (Turns) penalty, or is there significant advantage, such the the penalty is to retire

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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John,

Your question 1 is an open question. The answer will not be yes or no.

I would predict that the answer to question 2 is that rule E4.3 b applies as interpreted by Q&A Q&A 2013-022. The keep clear boat ceases to have a significant advantage when she is clearly last in the heat - which is not that much better than DNS.

Gordon

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