RULES - Which are the most important?

General chat about boats
Post Reply
DavidC
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:04 pm
Location: United Kingdom

RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by DavidC » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:14 pm

I get to sit on a lot of Juries/Protest Committees and occasionally for my sins attend Race Management/Judging conferences. Fairness is often discussed and the opinions are varied!

So a question. Given that in Racing we are trying to provide the most level playing field possible for fair racing, what are the rules that do the most to achieve this?

I know my views but I am always interested in hearing others.

Cheers
D

User avatar
Ed
Site Admin
Posts: 3485
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:11 pm
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Ed » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:14 pm

What a wonderful question.

I wish you had asked it over xmas, where the lack of any quiz would of meant that we could provide many hours of thought.

I am no expert with the rules. I think I know enough of them to keep myself out of trouble, but would not say that I don't know them well enough to be able to actively use them for my benefit. In other words, I interact with them in a re-active way rather than a pro-active way ( as in team racing). I think this is of course helped by normally sailing fast boats, where there is more benefit from just keeping out of other people's way, than just trying to push people around with the rules).

Rules of any nature, may seem tough from one angle and a god-send from another....but as long as they are the same for all, I think that is the best one can hope for.

Personally, I think the rule demanding 'gentlemanly conduct' must be the most important....although I could not give you it word-for-word, or even its number.

And, I have another, which, I have from learnt from my own experience, not even in our sport, which provides me with, I think, one of the basics of fairness.....although realise that it is often not possible in sailing events, and could only be possible in larger events....but anyway:

You should always have a reasonable line of appeal to another higher level of judgement.

Many years ago, I was rowing at Henley and our crew was disqualified by an umpire (who had a history of aggravation with our cox) for a 'steering' incident.

I won't bother you with the detail, but we had a very real dispute with the umpire's decisions and wanted to appeal to the Head Umpire, only problem was.....our Umpire was the Head umpire.

So, we would normally of appealed to the Head of Stewards at Henley....but...you would never guess who was the Head of Stewards...Yup our umpire.

We could of gone to the head of the Amateur Rowing Association I guess....but heck....you guessed it...he was our umpire.

Sailing works differently......but still that left a sour taste in my mouth which still rankles me 32 years later, simply because it was just not fair.

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

Rupert
Posts: 6254
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Rupert » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:28 pm

The don't hit each other rule is pretty useful, especially in a classic fleet of wooden boats.
I feel it is important that when out you can actually expect the boats you are racing against to know the rules well enough to be able to see that something is going to happen before it gets to shouting and crunch time. Port/starboard coming into a windward mark, for instance, or windward/leeward on the same tack, without totally buggering up the race for the boat in the right. Knowing the rules is more about knowing what you are allowed to do and who needs to avoid who than about cut-throat use in a game of one-upmanship. Though that has it's place, too.
Rupert

Michael Brigg
Posts: 1663
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Gosport, UK

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Michael Brigg » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:54 pm

This is sailing very close to the moderators wind, and might well hit the mark resulting in a summary disqualification! :evil:

Ed said:-
I was rowing at Henley and our crew was disqualified by an umpire
Pink and purple are always going to clash. What would really have iced the cake (in pink I trust) was if Leander were the berks!!? (...station, that is. :? )

I had a similar incident reported at the time in the Times as having fallen foul of "The Pink Ayatollahs."

You had no right to appeal to the ARA either as HRR is not an affiliated regatta. You had no right to appeal to the Legal profession because P.C. (I presume it was he?) was I believe big in the Legal profession. (I did my first house job in Medicine working for his brother, a consultant Geriatrician.)
Michael Brigg

Garry R

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Garry R » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:19 pm

We all (gentlemen anyhow) turn into a consultant geriatrician eventually. I assume this is the politially correct term for a Grumpy Old Man?

Garry R

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Garry R » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:21 pm

I agree with the don't hit anyone rule. Flying Fifteens scare me rigid still - they are so big!! I don't care what tack I am on (because they don't care what tack they are on!) - I give way to them when sailing Gannet or Secret Water. I'd rather lose a place in a race than have another 6 months repairing.

User avatar
Ancient Geek
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:50 am
Location: Sletten,3250, Denmark and Hampshire GU33 7LR UK

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Ancient Geek » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:28 pm

We were competing in a regatta on the Thames.
his regatta gave two races a day for some eight classes from National Eighteens and Thames A Raters down to Cadets.
This meant the water was crowded and had it been available the race officers would have been mainlining valium!
In very light weather we had worked out a very long lead on our own class, and were in isolation as far as the rest of the classes were concerned also.
Some three hundred yards down stream there was a raft of the rest all locked together, some kedged against the stream.
As we approached the line, oh so slowly, the race officer was getting agitated! For low and behold a gust was bringing up the rest of the competitors.
We got our gong, and hung there against the tide.
The race box was shouting and in the end we were told in no uncertain terms to get to hell out of it.
So we paddled. I signed my declaration. And repaired to the lunch bar, there the sailing secretary sought me out and said that the race officer was protesting me for using a method of propulsion other than the action of wind on the sails and water on the hull before we had cleared the line completely.
At the subsequent protest meeting I was disqualified.
We decided to appeal, a witness to this piece of blatant foul play
had been Sir Alan Herbert, he of the Misleading Cases, numerous pieces of doggerel and the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.
My father he and I and a number of other bar room lawyers set about drafting the appeal! With some difficulty we dissuaded APH from doing it in rhyme!
Sadly the papers are lost, but I do recall the crux of the appeal was that Rule one, fair sailing, should both in logic and in equity apply as much to the race committee as it did to competitors!Our appeal was turned down by the Royal Yachting Association.
In for a penny in for a pound, we appealed to the yachting “House of Lords”, the International Yacht Racing Union, which was at this time presided over by Peter Scott an old boy of my own school, and an Italian Secretary General.
Our appeal was allowed! The R. Y. A. were very unhappy.
So I would say common sense, gentlemanly conduct, decency sadly non of which you can legislate for, try not to hit anyone and rather than ruin two peoples races duck behind a boat even if he has right of way, you'll not lose you may gain and certainly he will not tack on top of or under you and bugger up both your races[/youtube].
Simples.

User avatar
Ed
Site Admin
Posts: 3485
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:11 pm
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Ed » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:36 pm

MB?

Are you writing my autobiography? :lol: :P

There is no getting buy you.

Yup.....PC was the man.....

and as you say, however high you wen't you still found the same man.

Strangely enough, he came out to the world youth champs when I was in the team....and I saw quite a bit of him then.

So the whole affair 2 years later at UL was no surprise to me at all.

I don't think we should say any more bearing in mind his profession.

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

davidh
Posts: 3166
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:43 am
Location: Ventor Isle of Wight

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by davidh » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:23 pm

Good question Dave...... wots this, going for ISAF verified sainthood?

To me, the two biggies are the 'lengths from the mark'. It's like the fleabay tape measure, one persons boat length means something very different to someone else.

But the grand daddy of them all ought to be the one aboput fair saiting WHICH should also encompass Rule 42. Either you're sailing fairly, using the action of the wind on the sails, or you are not, there can be no middle way.

Of all the broken rules, this is the one that is the one that gets broken the most - yet gets protested the least. From the Merlins on the Thames last year, to the Solos, Contenders, 470s and Scorpions (where it is the spinnaker that is pumped) the cheating goes on - people complain, yet it just doesn't get sorted.

The trouble is - the gains are so good..... if you can pump a phantom in between two RS 600s in a lightish breeze, then you do it and if you get away with it (which as we've seen time and time again, you will) then you roll, pump, ooch and generally misbehave (a subtle word for cheat).

I only do things like that when people like you are not around .

D
David H

Nigel
Posts: 1238
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:51 am
Location: Thornbury SC, Bristol

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Nigel » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:50 pm

Hi all,

rule 42 is a dificult one. Wathching someone roll tack their way up the course in the absence of any wind is somewhat frustrating but as you say dificult to protest, particularly in a low key club environment. I watched some of the windsurfing at the Olympics (on TV) and they do not seem to have the same rule at all. The men's final was totally becalmed and the whole field rowed its way round. Perhaps scrapping the rule completely would level the playing field.

Nigel

User avatar
neil
Site Admin
Posts: 1637
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:33 pm
Location: Plymouth

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by neil » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:33 pm

I agree about Rule 42. Have had discussion with MR owners about it "but it takes us ages to flick the top batten", "we're allowed to do it" etc. Yep, sailed fully battened mains for a numbers of years and it's only a question of technique not an excuse to climb higher.

I'm always happy to point out illegal pumping and will point it out - to deaf Buzz sailors :wink: Pointing it out also lets others know it's happening and you have witnesses if required.

Take a leaf out of a certain Australian IC sailor when we had a case of pumping at the Worlds. point it out, point it out loudly, tell them that they are online for a protest, then spend the rest of week calling the perpatrator "Herr Pump".

Although the Finns do it sensibly. Wind gets up, Flag O goes up, pumping etc is legal - but everyone know where they stand
IC: K26
Harrier +: 2

Zenith's rebuild - www.pegasus18.com/zenith

Rupert
Posts: 6254
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Rupert » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:40 pm

There is skill and subtlety in light wind sailing, which air rowing (or the sailing equivelent) would completely destroy. Trouble is, it is perfectly allowable to put a tack in on a puff in a windshift (very common in light winds) which those who are sitting there bored will miss every time. To them, it looks like you are tacking to make the boat go forwards, so breaking rule 42. In fact, the boat went forward because you tacked, and got it right, a very different thing. But how does a protest committee or another racer tell the difference? Once you have 2 boats having a tacking battle up the middle sailing away from the fleet (as has happened in the Fireflies, a class which should know better) it becomes very obvious, but it does get frustrating to be thought of as cheating just because you are concentrating on what is happening around you. I'm sure I'm not the only one on here this has happened to.
And no, I would not deny coming out of tacks faster than I've gone into them occasionally, but I like to thnk I was tacking for a reason other than that. I'm sure the Shearwater sailors on here are pretty good at spotting the no wind shifts, or they certainly ought to be!
Rupert

davidh
Posts: 3166
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:43 am
Location: Ventor Isle of Wight

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by davidh » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:50 pm

Nigel,

No, no and trice No!

I was out on one of the Committee Boats at Weymouth 'Sail for Gold' when the Finn Final was sailed in breeze.
Worser..... I went to the Contender Worlds in Medemblik and promptly ran into the man who started off this string..... ISAF Man Chivers - who then took me out on the IJ boat to watch the proceedings.

Linking these two events is the fact that both classes allow the suspension of Rule 42 once a given wind strength is reached across the racecourse.

This then allows the sailors to indulge in all sorts of various kinetic movements (of which Mr Ainslie is the best by miles in the Finns) and you get sail flapping on a par with the windsurfers. Is it sailing - not by a million miles!

Have ISAF have just tried to paper over the cracks in a bad rule by allowing classes to ignore it whenever they want? - you bet!

Now, donkeys yonks ago - or even longer, I was taught the fine art of spinnaker trimming (okay, tis another thread but I though I'd keep it topical) by the likes of Larry Marks in 505s and Keith Paul in an FD. Did they flap their mains or did they have have me yanking on the spinnaker sheet and guy.
Not a bit of it.... but they caught every wave and every subtle puff of wind and made sure that I was ready to react to it.

Now here is a really 'radical' thought and one that is alreday written up - I hope that you'll get to read this soon (Dave C.... you've heard this recently so go and put the kettle on).

So...... if you think that your class is a dog downwind, do you:-

(a) add more sail...ergo, the big 505 kite or the big rig on the 49er
(b) add more sails - ergo the vortex or Int Canoe, adding a kite
(c) suspend Rule 42 and allow a certain amount of sailing anarchy
(d) learn that just because you're not flying in a cloud of spray, that there is a great deal of skill in getting a boat downwind.

Sadly, in the world of instant gratification (Briggs...bring on the bromide!) no one is interested in (d) as everyone wants (a, b or c).

Well that's me hung from the flagpole outside the ISAF building, please say nice things in the obituary!

D
David H

Pat
Posts: 2502
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: West Wiltshire (Wessex)

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Pat » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:48 pm

Rule 3 is surely the most important.
By participating in a race conducted under these racing rules, each
competitor and boat owner agrees
(a) to be governed by the rules;
(b) to accept the penalties imposed and other action taken under
the rules, subject to the appeal and review procedures provided
in them, as the final determination of any matter arising under
the rules; and
(c) with respect to any such determination, not to resort to any
court of law
otherwise what's the point of having any rules if you don't agree to follow them.

User avatar
Ancient Geek
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:50 am
Location: Sletten,3250, Denmark and Hampshire GU33 7LR UK

Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Ancient Geek » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:34 pm

Thank you Pat for pointing out what I had never really taken on board the item where you agree not to resort to a court of law.
I do not think you can do this! At least not in the UK.
To quote Norman (Lord.) Denning "no matter how high you are never above the law", and that was before the European Courts!
Simples.

Post Reply