Case 128
Definition, Finish
Definition, Sail the Course
Rule 28.1, Sailing the Race
Rule 31, Touching a Mark
Rule A4, Scoring System
Rule A5, Scores Determined by the Race Committee
If the race committee observes a boat make an error under rule 28.1 in sailing the course and fail to correct that error, it is required to score her NSC. If it observes a boat touch a mark as she finishes, it must score in her finishing position and it may protest her for breaking rule 31.
Facts for Question 1
All the boats in a race, with the exception of boat A, sailed to the finishing line from the last mark and then finished by crossing the line from its course side leaving the committee vessel to starboard and mark F to port. As shown in the diagram, A left mark F to starboard, bore away, sailed completely to the course side of the finishing line, and, shortly after position 3, finished. A then sailed into the harbour. Members of the race committee observed A sail the track shown in the diagram. The rules of Appendix A applied.

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Question 1
What should the race committee do in this situation?

Answer 1
To comply with rule 28.1 a boat must ‘sail the course’, and therefore a string representing her track must, when drawn taut, pass mark F on the required side. A made an error under rule 28.1 at the line because the string representing her track, when drawn taut, passes mark F on the wrong side. A did not correct that error as permitted by rule 28.2, and therefore she broke rule 28.1. Because A did not ‘sail the course’, rules A5.1 and A5.2 require the race committee to score A for the finishing place one more than the number of boats entered in the series. The abbreviation for her score is ‘NSC’ (see rule A10).

Facts for Question 2
The race committee observes boat B touch the finishing mark as she crosses the finishing line. B does not take a penalty and sails into the harbour.
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Question 2
What should the race committee do?

Answer 2
B finished when her bow crossed the finishing line just before position 2. The race committee is required by rule A4 to score B points for the place in which she finished.

As rule 60.2(a) states, the race committee may protest B. If it decides to do so, it must inform her that it intends to protest and deliver its written protest within the time limit of rule 61.3 (see rule 61.1(b)). In addition, the protest committee, the technical committee or a boat, if the boat saw B touch the mark, may protest B (see rules 60.1(a), 60.3(a) and 60.4(a)).

World Sailing 2013, revised 2021
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