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Port/Starboard incident ?


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Gentlemen, here is one for all you rules Buffs. This actually happened.

Two boats which were racing in the same fleet collided in a simple port/starboard incident. This occurred on the last leg of the course.This collision happened right in front of the race committee, observers and the principle Race Officer who were no more than ten metres away from the incident.

The PRO immediately called "contact" and the boat No's. As neither boat did anything, he called the contact again. Both boat's said nothing to each other and carried on over the finish line.

The PRO then went to both skippers and asked if either was retiring. They both said no! He immediately informed them that he would be protesting both boats because they collided and neither did a 360 penalty.

The case then went before the Protest Committee.

Very Simple - what would have been your decision if you were on the Protest Committee?

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Because R44 and Alternative Penalties is in effect, it is necessary for a ROW boat to protest a Keep Clear boat so that they are made aware that they may have broken a rule and therefor, have the opportunity to exonerate themselves. Failing to protest denies the keep clear boat of that notice.

First question is 'Is a protest by the PRO valid?. Answer is yes, under 60.2.a

Second question is who is guilty of what. Given the simple facts, both boats are guilty of breaking several rules, The boat on Port broke R10, The Basic Principles of Sportsmanship, R 3, and R 14. The stbd boat broke Basic Principles, R 3 and R 14. Stbd may be exonerated for breach or R14, but not the other rules broken.

Third question is what decision. I would DSQ both boats under the above rules, and also DSQ them under R2 which makes the DSQ non-droppable.

If either skipper had been previously guilty of this behaviour (ignoring the Rules), then in addition a R 69 hearing may be appropriate.

John

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Thanks John,

This is an incident that has haunted me for some time. I was the PRO and unfortunately the Protest Committee through my protest out. interestingly enough the exact same incident happened some 30 years ago when once again i was PRO and protester , and the outcome was that both boat were disqualified. I can now sleep in peace, Thank you for your help.

Vinnie

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Hi Vinnie,

There are several aspects of your post that merit discussion.

First is the incident. Those involved, by refusing to acknowledge the collision and your hail, are showing disrespect to the other skippers, to the race committee and to the rules of sailing. Without that respect, we might as well play bumper cars. We sail boats that vary in value from a few $$ to many thousands, and the primary purpose of the rules is to avoid collisions to prevent injury and protect property (however safety is less the issue in RC sailing).

Second issue is the action of the Protest Committee. A hail of contact by an authorized observer - in this case a member of the RC, cannot be ignored nor dismissed by a protest committee. The person hailing is a disinterested party and their evidence of the contact to the committee is above question. Therefore it is a 'given' that a contact occurred, and so the PC has to find that at least one boat broke one or more rules.

I write this in the hope that we respect the rules and support the role of the Race Committee and observers and also respect the role and work of the protest committee. Without these volunteers, we would not be able to race.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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