RULES - Which are the most important?

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DavidC
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by DavidC » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:43 pm

How interesting!

Just a few observations so far.

Forget windsurfing, they have their own set of rules which allows air rowing and touching the mark so no comparison with dinghies. etc.

However, Rule 42 does indeed have an effect on fair racing if you know how to do it correctly which might include not being within the rules. People are generally frightened of protesting and certainly loud observations about someone else can work just as well. It is possible to police and certainly from a jury boat it is much more clear, especially if you are a dinghy sailor. You would be surprised how clear it can be when watched from a few hundred yards away.

Generally if it is being effective then the probability is that the sailor knows what he is doing even if he denies it. Some classes do indeed turn the rule on and off and just because it says you can does not mean you should. Watching another day at the Contender Worlds it was noticeable that many boats were pumping like mad because the flag was up and going slower because of it, where as the skilled guy with one pump (or at the most 2) at the right point of the wave left the others standing.

The ISAF rules can and do work and David is right when he refers to the skills of people like Larry Marks. Like so many of the rules, they do not appear to work because no one makes them work by protesting etc. Sailors always have excuses why it wasn't them! :) and people don't want to wait for a protest hearing. Hopefully the short rules advisory system will help.

Pat is right with her RRS 3 and it is a shame that more people don't read it, equally right is the reference to Fair Sailing which is RRS2. Gentlemanly conduct is called sportsmanship and is part of the RRS 69 which is where you life starts to get very complicated if you have failed to act in the correct way.

However, I was referring to the term "Rules" in the definitions sense which covers a lot of things including the RRS, ISAF regulations, Class Rules, Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, National Authority Prescriptions etc. So I still wonder it there is a particular rule or set or rules which start the very concept of fair competition. No one has mentioned it yet.

:) :) :) :)

Rupert
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Rupert » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:40 am

Trouble is, David, at some point rules have to meet real life...the very nature of competitive people means that they will push what is allowed in a rule until it snaps. If people are willing to protest, then judsgements can be made as to whether something was within the rules or not, and hopefully boundries get set. If people just whinge at the bar, then nothing gets decided. I guess in the end, it will be the things that get taken to appeal and written down for everyone to read (and books written about) that actually make the rules what they are in real life, so maybe it is the appeals process that is the most important rule.
Rupert

Michael Brigg
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Michael Brigg » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:59 am

DavidC said:-
I still wonder it there is a particular rule or set or rules which start the very concept of fair competition. No one has mentioned it yet.
How about the rules, constitution and mission statement of the CVRDA??!! :D :D :D :D

They stay these things should start in the home.
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Pat
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Pat » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:41 pm

Surely the mere existance of any rules starts the concept of fair competition. Or maybe the line in the NOR that says (usually) ISAF/National Authority rules will apply.

Actually it's been interesting reading this as I hadn't realised that the classes switch rule 42 OFF when the wind gets up - I assumed from my Thames Merlin experiences it would be switched off when the wind drops!

davidh
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by davidh » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:10 pm

Ah ha..... I can see that some of you did NOT read your sailing instructions at Netley.

First page, first paragraph,

Netley Sailing Club abides by the RYA Racing Charter.

read on at............

http://www.rya.org.uk/assets/racing/Web ... 20Text.pdf

If sailors and clubs alike adhered to thsi, then there would be far less shouting and acrimony. But Clubs have a part to play too! I was with someone from one of the quite successful singlehanded classes at Excel who had not just a few words to say on a certain club that had hosted one of their major events. Drinking (though another term was used) and brewery were the theme. Some of the organisational and Race Management **** ups that go on just should not be tolerated. Why complain about misdeeds out on the water, when the start sequence is wrong, the line and course poor and when things go go pear shaped, the Race Committee hide behind the rule book.

It cuts both ways

D
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Nigel
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Nigel » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:28 pm

This has brought to mind a dimly remembered quote from a Law class 30 years ago. I am sure one of our more learned friends can put a name to it:

"It is better for the law to be certain than to be just"

In the ordinary small club without the luxury of committe boats, international referees and enough people left over that know enough about such things, I think this is not a bad maxim.

Nigel

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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by davidh » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:01 pm

Nigel,

very true, it is a good quotation!

But a better and even more pertinent one is based along the lines that "in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king".

A sharp but observant comment on much of our club racing. So many (afloat and ashore) don't know how things shoould be done...allowing easy pickings for the bandit - and sadly, something of a cheats charter (and I apply that equally to Race Officers and Competitors)

How long before Michael Briggs makes comment, or in his case, "quoth the raven"!
David H

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Ancient Geek
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Ancient Geek » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:32 pm

How pleased would the late, and already much missed, John Mortimer be with the free speech of this forum!
Simples.

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Nessa
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Nessa » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:48 pm

I am a member of a tiny club in Bedford. I have only ever raced there once - I use this club for cruising and do a lot of instructing there, hence the club racers don't know me at all. I turned up to help out with safety duties - it was an extremely windy day - but wasn't needed, so I took out a club pico instead.

The race was a pursuit and I had a pretty healthy lead when another boat on a different leg of the course cut me up very badly. I informed him of the rule I felt he had just broken but got nowhere. I capsized as a consequence of his action, he went on to win the race.

I didn't much care about the result, but when I spoke to him ashore I was completely shouted down by him, the commodore and some of the other regular racers. I think they assumed I was a beginner who had been enjoying a lucky streak.

My point is that rule observance at small club level where people tend not to go to opens is pretty slack. Beginners are intimidated by the regulars and the pecking order and the rules are bent to suit the status quo.

I think ALL the rules are important - otherwise they would not exist - but unfortunately knowledge of them is sadly lacking in many parts of the sailing community.
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davidh
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by davidh » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:38 pm

Nessa,

eons ago... (that is longer than yonks past) I did some work in the sports pyschology field, in particular the mentality of winning. ('physician, heal thyself' do I hear?).

One of the biggest stumbling blocks is the one you've just highlighted, that of the perception of 'pecking order', where people think they should be in respect to someone else. You upset that equation and by the sound of it, paid the price.

It really does make you want to get in there and 'do a number' on them, raid their silverware stock and head off again!

BTW...walking the dog at Netley, I espied a fairly recent addition to the broken mast store, including a fairly new section sporting a nice new D ring.
(yes, okay, another forum string but it's only a passing reference). Are you still in the market for said object?

D
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Nessa
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Nessa » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:07 pm

Yes, didn't I also read about the 'pecking order' concept in a Twiname book - wasn't it in Sail, Race and Win? All too prevalent in small clubs I fear.

As an Instructor I get very hot under the collar generally about the treatment of beginners by experienced racers. The greatest fear a beginner has is of getting in the way. When some idiot berates them, often unjustly and most often loudly, it can put them off for life. This is where I feel the sportsmanship rules should be rigidly enforced. I'm fairly sure I read not long ago about a port tacker calling starboard on a beginner only then to be thrown out for his misdemeanor. And rightly so.

(the D ring would be very welcome, and we have at last exchanged!)
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alan williams
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by alan williams » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:36 pm

Hi Most important rule is the unwritten rules of polite behavour and some give and take. Sail to the rules but not to deliberately take people out ( unless team racing) (and this from a exHornet sailor), to Sailing Committes and Race officers after all you donot have to be aggressive to protest a committee and then appeal to the RYA. I once saw and drew the attention to an international jury at a world championship a classic clase of one nation ganging up against a single sailor and trying to sail him out of the event. The jury ruled in the individuals favour after videoing what was going on. He went on to win that world championship. Fair sailing is what I expect from other people and I expect it from myself. I've done the sports psychology dip. and an advanced coaching course but not in sailing. Conclusion of which were to win quote must have best equipment have most training time be a self centred B------T and believe in ones right to be first. How ever what did I take away from these courses and qualifications. I felt that they were ok for individual sports were no one intergrates after events such as athletics etc. But that sport to me is more about the social interaction and not the winning. I've been a winner in the past but at a cost see second sentence became absolute B-----t no friends crew fiance walked out due to the strain and me shouting at her.
At the end of the day it's just a game for most of us so sail clean and be happy.

Cheers Al Finn424 etc..

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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Ancient Geek » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:16 pm

A few thoughts whilst agreeing with the previous posts;
A lesson I learned young aged 15-16 when the Ranelagh Winter Series every weekend put 40-50 Merlin Rockets and 20-30 National 12's and the London Corinthian equivalent series just up river 20 Int 14's 30 Fireflys and 30 Enterprises from November to March. No single handers crews were not so scarce!

In a lot of wind easily leading on the beat I was run down by a rabbit scorching downwind totally out of control (I remember his name Jaques Cochem!) we were both sitting on the sides of our respective boats fast heading for Hammersmith on a strong tide. I was berating him loudly I remember his response "now now sonny more control" my retort that that was exactly what he had needed[/youtube]! Added to the moment, I protested him and he was disqualified (This was before one could claim redress.) after my succesful protest, which attracted some local publicity, I was taken quietly to one side by one Graham Hill a member of the next door London Rowing Club, (Who had graduated to the Ranelagh bar on the closing of his own club bar in those blissful pre breathalizer days.), and motor racer of some renown I remember his quiet words of advice "In order to finish first you must first finish"!
It is advice I have tried to sail by which accounts for more victories and championships than fast sailing!
Sail defensively, sail with prescience, sail quickly, be conistent and you will win overall and enjoy your sailing far more, stay out of the jury room unless you really have to, but do protest if you need. Above all enjoy it.
Simples.

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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Pat » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:25 pm

David and Nessa make us feel so at home with the comments on cheats and "the hierarchy" - having been told by a qualified instructor that we couldn't have right of way (port/starboard rule if I remember correctly) because we didn't shout for it :shock: As it's an inclusive sport how do mute sailors manage???

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Nessa
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Re: RULES - Which are the most important?

Post by Nessa » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:37 pm

Unfortunately there are a lot of instructors who have never raced - it's not a requirement of the instructor course.

The boy friend of my closest and only rival attempted to sail me off the course last year in Kingston. Unfortunately they were Canadians in Canada and I felt I would have had little or no chance had I attempted to protest. Plus I wanted to win by sailing, not in the protest room. My satisfaction came from turning the tables on him in no uncertain manner.

There are cheats in every sport, unfortunately they are hard to spot in sailing because of the nature of the competition, where we are meant to be self policing. Too many witnesses turn a blind eye because they don't want to hang about for a protest or are intimidated at the prospect of confronting a fellow competitor.

Fortunately larger regattas attract jury boats - these were very effective at last year's light wind contender worlds where there were no rule 42 infringements reported. In smaller regattas and even at club level we have to be our own jury boats if we want to see fair play.
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