Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Protest between different classes

Paul White
Nationality: Australia
Can a boat in one class protest a boat in another class another for not taking a penalty?

 I am sure there is a rule that covers this but I couldn’t find it.

Situation: Boat A is approaching a mark on the Starboard layline (approx 4 boat lengths from the mark) and hails Boat B on Port approx 2 boat lengths away.. Boat B bears away but not enough and collides with boat A causing damage.
Boat B continues to sail her course after the incident without doing a penalty turn.
Winds around 10 knots. Choppy sea.
Both boats are sailing the same course but are in different classes and start times.

Is boat A able to protest boat B and under what rule?


Created: 21-Nov-01 02:26

Comments

P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
2
No a boat can't protest another boat for not taking a penalty.

She needs to protest for breaking the underlying rule,  in this case the port and starboard rule, rule 10.

She certainly is entitled to make that protest.

Rule 60.1 provides

A boat may 
  1. protest another boat
No limitations about same race or same event.
Created: 21-Nov-01 02:39
Paul White
Nationality: Australia
0
So if I’m not involved in a race and see a rule infringement on a live video stream (e.g. SailGP or 18footers.TV) can I still protest the boat (assuming the SIs don’t state otherwise)?
Created: 21-Nov-01 09:45
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Here's the definition of "boat"
Boat                             A sailboat and the crew on board.(RRS Introduction,  Terminology).

Are you a "boat" according  to the definition?

Because the OP gave a specific scenario involving two boats involved in an incident I only quoted the relevant part of rule 60.1.

Here is rule 60.1(a) in full.

A boat may

(a) protest another boat, but not for an alleged breach of a rule of Part
2 or rule 31 unless she was involved in or saw the incident; 

Do you meet those requirements? 

Created: 21-Nov-01 10:29
Mauro Marussi
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Boat may protest under 60.1, P.C. shall act under 63.8.

"Hearings Involving Parties in Different Events

A hearing involving parties in different events conducted by different organizing authorities shall be heard by a protest committee acceptable to those authorities."
Created: 21-Nov-01 11:31
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Paul, I'd like to suggest that you keep the facts of your scenario consistent for a bit so that members can offer their opinions.  

  1. First you describe an incident between 2 boats, Boat A and Boat B who were seemingly sailing in the same event (thus both racing in the same racing area and around the same marks).
  2. Next you describe what appears to be a fella drinking beer with his mates watching SailGPS on TV wanting to file a protest on behalf of his favorite team (not sure we need to spend much time mulling that one over).

In regards to your first scenario, the RRS use the term "Event" throughout.  In your first scenario it appears to me that you are describing 2 "boats", "racing" in the same "event" but competing in different classes.  Sometimes these different classes are started simultaneously (combined starts).  Often these classes are started separately sailing the same course.  Other times they are started separately sailing different courses in the same "racing area" (see preamble below) that share some, but not all of the same marks (a shorter windward mark for slower classes for instance).

The Preamble of Part 2 states, "The rules of Part 2 apply between boats that are sailing in or near the racing area and intend to race, are racing, or have been racing. However, a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one of these rules, except rule 14 when the incident resulted in injury or serious damage, or rule 23.1."

So in your first scenario, it appears that Part 2 rules apply between A and B.  Next, look to the rules that John pointed out regarding who can protest and for what.  Based on your description I don't think RRS 63.8 applies.  But even if it did, that would be an organizational issue that the different OA's would work out to determine an appropriate PC .. that woudn't be something that a boat filing the protest would usually concern themselves about.  A boat filing a protest against another boat just needs to deliver their written protest as described in the SI for one of the events and let the OA's work it out.

PS ...
On protesting for not taking a penalty, see US46: .

A boat that has knowingly broken a rule and does not take the appropriate penalty, breaks a recognized principle of sportsmanship (see Basic Principles, Sportsmanship and the Rules). ref:Case 138, Answers #2 and #3

Created: 21-Nov-01 12:58
Paul White
Nationality: Australia
0
The scenario as described was my issue and the response resolved that question to my satisfaction.

However, a friend suggested that would mean that you could protest anyone in a race that you weren’t involved in, which was the reason for the secondary question - albeit a ridiculous example.
Created: 21-Nov-01 13:57
Kirsteen Donaldson
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Race Officer
0
My understanding is that, as agreed above, a boat that is racing can protest a boat that is racing in another event, albeit you have to find out what event that boat is racing in (not necessarily easy in the crowded race waters in the Solent) and consider whether it is worth the effort.  Even if a penalty were to be imposed in that other event, it would not influence your position in your event, so probably only worthwhile if you had reason to claim redress or you considered the incident to be dangerous.  But a person or body that is not racing cannot protest a boat that is racing.  This can have a negative impact on the perception of the club/event if a boat is involved in an incident involving others.  We have therefore included in our Notice of Race 'The Race Officer (RO) shall protest a boat if a vessel, coastguard or Port Authority makes a complaint under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or local by-laws.  This changes RRS 60.2.'  Not all complaints are justified, but some are; it is up to the protest committee to make that decision. On the very few occasions we have needed to apply this, it has been received well by the other party. 
Created: 21-Nov-01 15:13
Mauro Marussi
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Remember RRS 63.3. Right to Be Present

  1. A representative of each party to the hearing has the right to be present throughout the hearing of all the evidence. When a protest claims a breach of a rule of Part 2, 3 or 4, the representatives of boats shall have been on board at the time of the incident
Created: 21-Nov-01 17:18
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
To the original question, if both boats are racing boat A can (should) protest B for breaking rule 10. The fact that the boats are racing in different classes or even different events doesn't impact this.

Boat B may take a penalty turn (unless there was injury or the damage caused was serious) but isn't obligated to. B may feel that she doesn't owe a penalty - maybe A was altering course and didn't give her room to keep clear, or maybe B was entitled to mark room, or whatever). B is entitled to not take a penalty turn and take her chances in the protest room.

As noted, if B knows she broke a rule and doesn't take an appropriate penalty, the jury may find that B broke rule 2 in addition to rule 10 and should be DNE rather than DSQ. Boat A would not have to mention rule 2 in her protest for the PC to make this finding.

Also, a race committee or protest committee may protest a boat for an incident based on a report from a third party as long as the report doesn't come from a person with a conflict of interest. So I expect a spectator (live or on video) could generate a protest but not by themselves - they'd have to convince the RC or PC to lodge it, and then would probably be called as a witness.
Created: 21-Nov-01 18:30
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Kristen,

There is nothing in the definition of boat, or rule 60.1 that requires that a protesting boat be racing, subject to the RRS, or a member of  sailing club.  All she has to be is a sailboat.

Considerations about saw or involved, on board, and validity, and possibiy appeals  come after the fundamental entitlement 
Created: 21-Nov-01 19:57
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Paul,

Case 141 discusses 'serious damage'.

Rule 44.1 provides that 'a boat may take a ... penalty when she may have broken a rule".

No rule states that a boat must take a penalty.

If YOU think that a boat has broken a rule and should be penalised, then it's up to YOU to 
  1. hail protest
  2. display a red flag if necessary
  3. deliver a timely written protest, and
  4. attend and present your protest at the protest hearing.
Created: 21-Nov-01 21:57
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Has taking your chances in the protest room and not doing a penalty turn become the norm?

I don't know what the "norm" is, I expect it depends on the fleet and the boat. Some boats will take a penalty on themselves if they believe they broke a rule, even if not protested. Others will never do turns even if they're protested and clearly in the wrong.

But not taking a voluntary penalty and going to the room instead is permitted.

In your specific instance you could have protested and it seems likely that the other boat would have been disqualified. If the damage made your score significantly worse you could have sought redress as well.


Created: 21-Nov-01 22:19
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Both the race committee and the protest committee may protest a boat based on a report from any source except from a person with a conflict of interest other that the representative of the boat itself. (see rule 60.2 or 60.3).

So there is nothing to prevent a person watching the TV coverage from making a report to the RC or PC. I would suggest that the breach would have to be serious, and that there were no other boats in a position to witness the breach, before the RC or PC took action.

An example might be if in an offshore race the tracking was available on line and showed a boat clearly not rounding a mark or entering a prohibited area.

Gordon
Created: 21-Nov-02 08:49
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Gordon .. nice addition .. and if that report of missing a mark goes to the RC instead of the PC .. the RC is within the rules to score them NSC without protesting the boat and without a hearing.
Created: 21-Nov-02 12:38
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Adding to Gordon's addition, I believe 90.3(e) was added at least in part with this in mind so that major  events wouldn't be disrupted weeks after the fact by some sharp-eyed viewer spotting a breach on YouTube. 

I think professional golf has had some incidents like that. 
Created: 21-Nov-03 22:51
Wayne Balsiger
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
0
John Allan,
You said that
     No rule states that a boat must take a penalty.

True on the word must. However, under Basic Principles, Sportsmanship and the rules: the preamble does say she will take a penalty.  Full text is below.

SPORTSMANSHIP AND THE RULES
Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of
sportsmanship is that when a boat breaks a rule and is not exonerated she will promptly take an appropriate penalty or action, which may be
to retire.

Must and will are similar in meaning.  I use a spectrum of shall, will, must, may.

Wayne
Created: 21-Nov-10 00:03
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Must and will are similar in meaning.  I use a spectrum of shall, will, must, may.

What I was told once by a lawyer (not in a sailing context) was that "shall" is mandatory, "will" indicates intent and "may" always implies "or may not".
Created: 21-Nov-10 00:10
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Wayne,  I think Tim is right.  I've recently done a little etymological research about will and shall.   It is generally accepted that shall connotes duty or obligation, while will connotes willingness or the plain future tense.  The RRS consistently  uses shall to impose obligation. 

However Tim's lawyer friend would doubtless also have cautioned against sweeping statements.

While I said "No rule states that a boat must take a penalty" in the context of Turns or Scoring Penalties under rule 44, it is not generally true and for that I apologise.   Indeed rule 44 itself prescribes that 
  1. if the boat caused injury or serious damage or, despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire.

It would have been more accurate if I had said 

"No rule states that a boat must take a Turns or a Scoring penalty"

I  believe that any boat, absent the condition in rule 44.1(b), is entitled to refrain from voluntarily taking a penalty and abide the decision of a valid protest.
Created: 21-Nov-10 01:12
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
John, I think the accurate and complete statement would be that nothing in the rules requires a boat to take a voluntary penalty (that seems rather a tautology).

44.1(b) imposes on a boat a duty to retire if she has caused injury or serious damage, or if she gained a significant advantage. A boat may fail in that duty, and if she does then under 64.1 the PC has a duty to disqualify her. Other than the right of appeal, the boat has no choice about accepting a DSQ.
Created: 21-Nov-10 02:42
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
re: "will" in Basic Principles ..

I've always chalked it up to the rule-makers wanting the feeling of "shall" without the dropping the s-bomb.

Basically a RRS Rule-maker Jedi mind trick .. (waving their hand in a single arc before them) 'The boat will promptly take an appropriate penalty or action ..'

;-) 
Created: 21-Nov-10 12:40
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
Circling back to the original question “Can a boat in one class protest a boat in another class another for not taking a penalty?”


Sportsmanship and the Rules places an obligation on a boat that breaks a rule to promptly take an appropriate penalty or action, which may be to retire. When there is contact at least one boat broke rule 14, is not exonerated and should have taken an appropriate penalty or action. An appropriate action might be to protest or retire. If neither boat takes an appropriate penalty or action then one or both of them break the basic principles and can be disqualified in a valid protest. 

Rule 60.1 allows a boat who saw the incident but was not involved, to protest. If the protest committee finds that there was contact then at least one boat breaks Sportsmanship and the Rules.


SPORTSMANSHIP AND THE RULES
Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when a boat breaks a rule and is not exonerated she will promptly take an appropriate penalty or action, which may be to retire.


Created: 21-Nov-19 12:15
Paul White
Nationality: Australia
0
Thanks Mark. I think some people forget that Sportmsnship is the fundamental principle of the sport.

Not taking a penalty “because there was no flag” or “I didn’t hear anyone shout protest” or because “everyone else does it” doesn’t absolve YOU of your responsibility to behave in a sportsmanlike manner and take action.
Created: 21-Nov-20 00:00
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
It is possible for a right-of-way boat to make contact with a boat entitled to mark-room and if the contact doesn't cause damage both can be exonerated of their rule 14 breach under rule 43.1(c). However, the boat entitled to mark-room also breaks a right-of-way rule and is exonerated 43.1(b), and the right-of-way boat breaks rule 18 but is not exonerated.

So it would be more accurate to say.

Sportsmanship and the Rules places an obligation on a boat to promptly take an appropriate penalty or action, which may be to retire. When there is contact between boats at least one boat broke a rule that they are not exonerated from. If neither boat takes a penalty or protests, someone broke Sportsmanship and the Rules.
Created: 21-Nov-20 10:36
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