Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Forced to break RRS 30.4 (Black Flag)

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António Negreiros Fernandes
Certifications:
  • Regional Race Officer
  • Club Judge
  • Club Race Officer
At the start, a boat is forced to break the black flag rule by another boat that broke other rules. For example, the other boat broke RRS  15 <%= rule_link('15') %> , made contact and the first boat crossed the starting line at the last minute before the start.

What must the first boat do to avoid BFD <%= flag_link('BFD') %>  classification by the RC?
Created: 24-Jun-20 14:57

Comments

César Sans
Nationality: Spain
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
  • International Race Officer
4
The boat that was forced to break RRS 30.4 must start correctly and in the jury room demonstrate that the breach of RRS was forced by a boat that was breaking a rule. Then she can be exonerated but it is important to demonstrate that breaching of the RRS 30.4 was because the other boat breaching a rule and was the reason of being over early. See case 140. 
Created: 24-Jun-20 15:09
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
2
I would add that if the race is recalled or abandoned after the start she should not sail in the restarted or resailed.
Under App E, even if the boat intends to protest and claim exoneration, if the race officer informs her that she has broken rule 30.3 or 30.4, she shall immediately leave the course area.
Created: 24-Jun-20 15:16
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Gordon ... any insight as to why Appx E adds the "resailed/restarted" condition to rule 30.3?
Created: 24-Jun-20 15:30
Gijs Vlas
Nationality: Netherlands
0
@ Gordon - last year we had a Black Flag and our number shown at the first mark. We were convinced that a mistake was made and used the only way out - being to immediately set a protest and raise the flag clearly visible to the RC on the RC boat at Mark 1 - calling the sailnumbers. We continued the race, filed our protest and came clear at the hearing and conclusion - hence scored our regular points on finish position.

I assume the same applies in case of a General Recall and Restart - leave the protest flag up and file the protest afterwards, only if you are convinced of your case otherwise you are wasting time of the PC.

@ Cesar - you mention "must start correctly..."  - do you mean restart? In my humble opinion I would continue sailing without restarting, hence turining around pin-Comitee boat and restart. In would consider this only if I had gained a real big advantage by being pushed over early since it conflicts with fair racing. In that case I would appeal for a Redress based on the fact that I was forced out of a fair racing position. Anyhow - filing a protest against the boat that fauled me is mandatory in all scenario's !
Created: 24-Jun-20 15:44
Tom Sollas
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Thanks for pointing out Case 140 Cesar, interesting stuff there. Takeaways that I see:
  • The RC shall score you BFD even if another compelled you to break 30.4. Yes, you are exonerated but you still must start correctly (Case 140 question 1).
  • The above is *not* redressable. There is no RC error there. Unless:
  • You protest the boat, and the PC finds the other boat broke a rule, and thus exonerating you. If the RC does not correct the score, that *would* be an RC error and thus redressable.
  • If the race is restarted or abandoned, your only recourse is to not sail the race, and protest the boat.

Gordon, on the last point, since redress isn't applicable here, how should the RC score you? You don't have a finish because of the rules of 30.4, but you should be exonerated in this case.
Created: 24-Jun-20 15:58
Arto Kiiski
Nationality: Finland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Cesar& Gordon, are you saying start correctly means to re-start? I think a boat being over the line at any reason is not started by the definition
and  should re-start to get a score. Or to have a chance to redress...?
Created: 24-Jun-20 16:27
Ant Davey
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Umpire In Training
0
My feeling is that, if the race has a general recall, is postponed, or abandoned, then the BFD boat should not sail in the restarted race, to avoid the DNE. However, once the exoneration claim is proven - by protesting the boat that pushed them over and show that it broke Rule 2 or 69 - any redress is going to be based on average points. So, that's what the boat should expect and ask for. If the BFD boat is not informed that it is BFD, I would continue to sail the race to get a finishing position and argue the final score given in an RFR hearing.
Created: 24-Jun-20 17:20
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Niko Kotsatos
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
My take-away is that I better understand why we try to use the Z- or U-flags rather than the black flag. What a brutal answer in Case 140 Q3 which, while following all the wording of the rules, leaves a fouled bout high and dry (figuratively speaking).

Ant, why do you think the other boat broke 2 or 69?
Created: 24-Jun-20 18:23
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Nick, Z and U Flags

You can look at the U and Z flags as progressive 'softening' of the Black Flag system.
  • Under U flag, a boat is UFD if she is in the triangle, but is not excluded from a restarted race.
  • Under Z flag, a boat is ZFP with a 20% penalty if she is in the triangle (but must still get back behind the line and start).

The primary effect of the U/Z/Black Flag is that the race committee is not required to identify boats that  are over early and display flag X promptly.  The RO can take time to consult with the pin ARO, backup line sight ARO, and review voice and video recordings to positively identify all boats that are over early.

Black flag has the additional effect that it 'attrites' the fleet, reducing both the number of 'eager beavers', and overall competitors, making each successive start easier to judge.
Created: 24-Jun-20 22:48
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Nick Case 140 Q 3

Case 140 Q&A 3 just replicates what happens when a boat is forced over the starting line early without Z/U/Black Flag:  she has not started, and to receive a place score she must return to the pre-start side and start.
Created: 24-Jun-20 22:51
Nick Hutton
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
1
There is much mention of redress being granted if a boat is forced over the line in a black flag start by a boat which is subsequently found to have broken a rule in doing so. To be clear, there is no redress available (Case 140 as cited above). If the infringed boat returns to the pre-start side of the line and starts correctly and wins her protest against the boat that forced her over she can be reinstated (note this is not redress) in the race. If she does not restart legally, the best she can hope for after winning her protest is a change of score from BFD to DNS.  If a general recall or the race is abandoned, and she participates in the restart then, after winning her protest, the boat’s score can be changed from DNE to DNS. Major proviso and massive risk is that she must win her protest, far from guaranteed! But in any case redress is only available in the event of an error by the RC, and in this scenario there is no error. So redress is not available to this boat! 
Created: 24-Jun-21 02:25
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
1
Nick re: " But in any case redress is only available in the event of an error by the RC, "

Isn't this where a penalty/warning under rule 2 or 69 under rule 62.1(d) leaves a door open for redress? (as Ant pointed out)
Created: 24-Jun-21 03:03
Nick Hutton
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
0
Have just reread RRS 62 and yes, that is correct. But there is no mention of misconduct in the scenario presented. Simply being infringed against is not enough. Unlikely that a Jury would find a person guilty of unfair sailing or misconduct just to get redress for another boat. RRS 2 & 69 not to treated lightly. 
Created: 24-Jun-21 03:28
Ant Davey
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Umpire In Training
0
I have to admit I hadn't re-read Case 140 before my reply. Yes, the boat has to start correctly by going back in order to be scored. 
Putting your boat in a position where you can be pushed over early is a risk that should be considered carefully. Proving an infringement of 2 or 69 would be very difficult. There's no reason why Rule 11 can't be used in a strategic fashion. Rule 2 could only come into play if the leeward boat needed the windward boat to be scored BFD, and had obviously shadowed the other boat in order to use the tactic, and that doing so materially affected the boat's score.
Created: 24-Jun-21 06:12
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
2
Ant, I don't think deliberately forcing a boat over so as to get a BFD is enough for RRS 2.

The protestee would have to be proved to have:
  • Intended to force the other boat over early,
  • Broken a rule in doing so AND
  • Intended to break the rule.

So, for example, a boat overlapped to leeward of another reaching down close to the line that forces the other boat over with a hard luff:
  • Is at perfect liberty to do that Intentionally if she gives the other boat room to keep clear and doesn't break RRS 16.1
  • To be found to have broken RRS 2, she would have to be proved:
    • To have broken RRS 16.1, that is, that there was contact or that contact was only avoided by an unseamanlike manoeuvre, and
    • That she Intended to break RRS 16.1, and that the breach was not just the result of misjudgement or poor steering, or wave action, or whatever.
As Nick H said, that's going to be quite a big task.
Created: 24-Jun-21 06:51
Ant Davey
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Umpire In Training
1
John, no argument with any of that. 
Created: 24-Jun-21 07:02
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Niko Kotsatos
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
John, all re: Case 140 Q3
My issue with the answer to Q3 is that it seems like a tough penalty for someone who was fouled. I agree that it's the right answer within the rules, and also that the boat took a risk being in that situation, and also that it will be a rare situation where the foul causes the BFD score. But making the penalty a DNS in the event of a restart (assuming she is identified) might cause the ROW boat to take further risks here.

Consider a situation in a slightly pin-favored line among R19's. At 8 seconds, S begins to accelerate, but X, Y, Z and P tack onto Port in front of her. S is forced to luff up at 3 seconds to avoid a collision, putting her OCS. She is the only boat identified, and the fleet is re-started a few minutes later. Assuming she clears the start area and wins her protest, she now has the same effective score as the four boats she protests. This is the letter of the law per Case 140Q3, but not particularly fair.

Side question. Can X, Y, Z or P take a penalty turn to exonerate themselves? What about in the situation where the race is NOT restarted and S starts correctly, finishing deep?
Created: 24-Jun-21 14:46
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
1
 What about in the situation where the race is NOT restarted and S starts correctly, finishing deep?
If she is exonerated, S will be scored in her finishing position.
In the hearing S may argue:
- if the port tackers did not take a penalty then they should be DSQ
 - if they did take a penalty, that despite taking that penalty they still gained an advantage then RRS 44.1(b) applies.

On RRS E3.7: many classes prefer UFD/BFD boats to leave the sailing area so as not to interfers with other boats. Radio Sailing has incorporated that preference into the rules. The Race Officer is not obliged to inform boats, and in a situation in which Case 140 applies he would make no improper action by not informing the BFD boat, and may decide to stay silent.
Created: 24-Jun-21 15:34
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Niko Kotsatos
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
Very helpful on all points Gordon.
Similarly John Allen
and also the whole discussion.
Created: 24-Jun-21 15:37
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Niko, I agree that Case 140 is pretty hard nosed, but I think it would take major surgery to the rules or a big complicated case to get to any other outcome.
Created: 24-Jun-22 00:39
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Gordon,  Race Officer is not obliged to inform [BFD] boats

That's not how I read RRS 30.4.

... If a boat breaks this rule and is identified, ...  If a general recall is signalled or the race is abandoned after the starting signal, the race committee shall display her sail number.

I understand that in some circumstances the RO might be having some trouble with his shoelaces and not be able to identify the boat, in which case she wouldn't be BFD at all.

Created: 24-Jun-22 00:44
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