I’m going to rephrase my question to get at the heart of my dilemma. I believe I have a good handle on how to go about modifying/deleting RRS 52 via NOR/SI without being challenged in the protest room. However, doing so will inherently discourage participation on somebody’s part, something I’m trying desperately not to do, while trying to keep racing on an even playing field.
I’m looking for more of a philosophical opinion on what equipment or practice onboard a racing boat breaks RRS 52. Once that is understood better it will be easier to decide whether to modify or delete altogether this rule. As mentioned, more and more boats are being built with this equipment as standard and making it harder to justify a boat being “operated only by the power provided by the crew.” At what point do the rule writers recognize that this rule may need some caveats?
Here is my take on the originally submitted brain teaser.
First, take away the Starting Mark and think of the rules that apply.
Question: Can Yellow sail this course without breaking any rules?
Answer: Yes. She has to be mindful of 16 and Blue of Definition of Keeping clear.
It seems that both satisfied the PC in those respects.
So now introduce the staring Mark into this and what other rules will apply.
Yellow has to be mindful of R 31. It does not matter how small or large the starting Mark is. A boat, (while racing), cannot touch, without a penalty, a staring Mark. Everything else is still the same.
If the parties do not agree as to whether or not the hail or display of the flag was timely, I think it is appropriate for the PC to ask each whether they want to name a witness from their boat, or a third boat, to testify on the specific issue(s).
I think they should postpone the change and maybe make the next quad just 3 years. When the rules are changed, we almost always have some small but noticeable unintended consequences from the rules changes and it would be very difficult to fix those in just 6 months, we normally don't even know they exist until the summer. The reason we have the quads and the reason that the Olympics are right at the end of them, is so that the competitors can use the same rules for their entire run up to the games. To make changes on them, that might be a game changer for them, isn't fail and should be avoided. To stick with the current schedule, just to keep a schedule, won't help the Olympic competitors. While, changing the schedule to a 3 year quad, won'y have any significant impact on the average racer.
The boats themselves are all disqualified from competition due to their inherit inability to meet the qualifications as defined by the rules. Only boats than can be safely single-handed can qualify under the new, temporary set of rules (just because you can single hand a 60'er, doesn't mean you should in close quarters). This list is by no means comprehensive but it is a good guide to inform competitors of their options. And as the water is still cold in the Northern Hemisphere a flask of rum, bourbon, or rye is preferred to prevent over exposure and from potentially bringing the sport into disrepute with an uncivilized display of personal appearance.
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