Case 37
Rule 32.1(d), Shortening or Abandoning After the Start
Rule 62.1(a), Redress
Each race of a regatta is a separate race; in a multi-class regatta, abandonment may be suitable for some classes, but not for all.
In the third race of a regatta for each of 15 offshore classes, all classes sailed the same course on which a reaching mark was found to have moved almost a mile (1.6 kilometres) out of position. Various boats in several classes sought redress because of it. The mark moved out of position over an hour before any of the boats in the last two classes reached it. None of the boats in those two classes requested redress. The protest committee, however, abandoned the races for all classes. The boats in the last two classes then asked for redress, claiming that the abandonment of their races was improper. Redress was denied. They appealed.

The protest committee failed to distinguish between different procedures under which a race may be abandoned. The race committee could have abandoned the race under rule 32.1(d) because the mark was out of position. It did not do so, however, and appeared to have been satisfied to let the several races stand.

If the protest committee had taken up the question on a class-by-class, race-by-race basis, it would have found that there was no requirement or need to abandon the races for the last two classes. There may have been sufficient reason to abandon the races of some classes, but the protest committee erred when it abandoned the races for the classes in which no redress was requested. Its decision to do so was an "improper action" within the meaning of rule 62.1(a). The appeals are upheld, and all of the boats in the races of the two classes in question are reinstated in their finishing places.

USA 1977/200
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