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What can the OD do and not do regarding contact and other incidents?


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What can the OD do and not do regarding contact with buoys and other incidents?

What are their duties.

Also if they are competitors they have a conflict of interests. Is this covered.

What if they are biased and report contact that does not actually take place.

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I understand the OD as Officer of the Day. That term is not normally used in racing, so you may be referring to the Regatta Director RD, or Race Officer RO. We also use Observers.

To learn about the duties of an RO, you may want to take Glen Dawson's excellent and free Race Officer online course.

https://eliademy.com/catalog/catalog/product/view/sku/dd8e7afcd4

In brief, normally the RO leaves it to the fleet to call protests for contacts, but the RO may (but are not required to) protest if they witness the incident and no one takes any action.

The duties of an observer are to call contacts between boat, or boats and marks, and to record the incident and whether or not penalty turns are taken, are marks rounded correctly, and report to the RO at the end of the heat. If there are called contacts and no penalty taken, then the RO may protest the boat(s) based on the observer report.

If you think the RO acted improperly and it affected your position in a race, then you may file a request for redress.

The Protest Committee is independent of the RO, and if they find improper conduct by the RO, may institute an R69 Hearing.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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It is also worth considering the type of event; at a large event, ranking/nationals the PRO (OD) will usually have a small team of assistants and observers, so their role is that of race management and calling contacts may be left to others. At club level, it is quite likely the PRO is the only member of the race team and there is an assumption that they will act as observer, course setter, start/ finish line and probably put the kettle on as well!

However, in both instances, any member of the race team may call a contact during the racing including the PRO.

What the PRO - or any member of race team- cannot do is make a decision on the outcome of an incident without following the process, so things like missing a mark, sailing the wrong course or apportioning blame should not be discussed during the race, calling contacts does not apportion blame, just acknowledges that there has been a contact. The "callers" responsibility is then to call the contact correctly, identify the boats involved and check to see if any boat accepts a penalty, and does their penalty turn. Noting if the penalty is correctly taken, and advising the race team if not.

If you sail with Addendum Q, then the umpires can make an on the water decision, but this tends to be only at International events at this time.

If sailing at club level there may be newcomers/ beginners in the racing and it may be decided that advising skippers of their mistakes is more important to the event and encouragement of participation than protesting them and then giving them a dsq... but this is not strictly as per the rules of sailing, although maybe a sensible approach at this level.

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So in a club where competitors take turns to do (OD) duties on each different heat. They can start the heat and act as observers but not make decisions.

Also they should be called R0 not OD.

Just to clarify?

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Basically, yes.

The RO is allowed to make some decisions, eg calling a boat over early, and deciding who crossed the finish first on close situations, but that cannot make decisions about right and wrong - only a Protest Committee may do that.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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